Wednesday, June 22, 2011

while !(endOfTerm) study();

(I looked back at a few of my old posts, and realised they don't really make that much sense. Sorry, I will try to be more coherent in the future, and maybe try to post at hours other than 2am :)

I can't wait for the holidays! But not to rest (did you really think I would allow myself to do nothing? That's not what a holiday is for!). Well, a little bit of rest is of course a good thing, and I will try to get some, in between reading my english books and other textbooks for next term, making sure I see everything there is to see in Cape Town (where I will be), working on a project one with some of my other classmates, and best of all: doing vac work.

I think people have the wrong idea of work. To illustrate my point, go play this flash game, every day the same dream. The background music is awesome, so make sure you can hear it, though it's not essential to my point. Come back only once you've finished, or at least played to the end of one day.

(What did I tell you about the sound track? ^_^)
You noticed the game is a little bit depressing, right? Now, are you thinking, "oh well that's life"? Mundane. Boring. Greyscale. Not really much choice but to keep going till you want to kill yourself. Yeah?
No. You see there's one problem with this guy's day. It ends at the part where the real game ought to begin - where he sits down at his desk. No wonder he's depressed, he never gets to actually start his adventure! Adventure isn't reserved for errant knights or hole-dwelling hobbits. Pssh, LIFE is supposed to be an adventure. Have I quoted John 10:10 yet? Jesus said He came to give us life in abundance. I don't know about you, but every day the same dream doesn't look very abundant to me.

That doesn't mean you have to stay away from desk jobs to find adventure. Your job should be your adventure. We are programmed by society to choose work that earns us money. A desk job can be fun, we just have this mindset that it's not, because we choose "good" jobs rather than ones we're interested in. You should choose work that you are passionate about, with money as a by-product. That way you'll automatically put enough effort into it that it will reward you. You will go the extra mile, you'll earn that overtime, because you want to, and you'll be having fun while doing it.

That said, I am so excited to work this holiday! I will finally be able to do what I really want to - make code that is actually useful. In my entire almost-3 years at university I have learned a lot of bits of computer languages, but not how to actually use them (except in simulated environments). I wouldn't be able to make you that app that you want, or program that game.. example: I can make you a website, but I don't know how to actually get it on the web. I can write all the code, but I can't get it to where it's actually useful.

So I decided I wanted to see how code is used Out There in the Real World. The illusive link between academics and real life. I asked some guys my sister knows in Cape Town if I could act shadow-like for a month, and they seemed fine with it (read: they're stoked too). I start on Tuesday. They're even paying me. Can you think of anything better?! Just one more exam to get through and then it's time to go from one crazy schedule to another, and learn what this Computer Science thing is all about. Can't wait!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Long awaited things

Firstly: This shirt
Secondly: The blog about receiving it

Lovely T-shirt loveliness is mine ^_^
I ordered it from Fueled By Ramen a while back, because they had marked them down to $5, which, with the exchange rate and shipping costs, turned out to be about as much as I would pay for a band T-shirt here. Which isn't exactly the cheapest, but how often do I get to buy a shirt of an overseas band that I really dig? Very seldom (read: never). This was, in fact, my first online order I'd ever made. I was a bit worried about its arrival. But it did indeed arrive and now happiness is mine :)

The band that makes such lovely things, is This Providence, who do indeed look a little bit silly with their hair and funny clothes (which I love, of course), but they make pretty rad music. Their self-titled album is my favourite of theirs, and my favourite track is Walking on Water. It was apparently used in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I now have to see. It's also my theme song: life is often stormy and those waves are pretty hectic, but with my God I'll turn it into a playground :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friends: make life bearable

The week before Week Of Doom (mentioned in previous post), I was stressed (surprise!) because of upcoming tests for a subject (maths) that I'm not doing so well in.
The Wednesday of this week had been a particularly long day. By the end of it, however, I became pretty motivated, and was down at the computer labs working on whatever work I had to work on. (I happened to lose all that motivation by Friday, but that's another story) (which concludes with the previous post, as before mentioned).

The purpose of this story is that when I arrived home after this long day, at around 1 in the morning, I discovered this on my door:

A yummy (though cold) vegetarian (hence not a puppy) Steers burger to make my heart happy :)
Friends, they're nice things to have. I like them :)

"Put music to our troubles and we'll dance them away."

I find myself running out of words.
Which is ridiculous; I am a writer. Or at least I pretend to be one most of the time.

But words you must have. So I will pull some out from the inside of my brain, and excuse me if it comes out garbled.

The introduction to this story is a week in which I would not have minded if the world did indeed end right then (as someone had predicted it would). I was pretty tired of this place, and everything in it.
I can't even pinpoint it to any one thing, but something triggered something, and I got thrown into the strangest state of existence I have ever been in. I was incredibly negative about life, and that is strange for me because I can always find the good side of things.

It came down to this: The world is pretty broken and no matter how much we try to fix it, well it still remains broken. And often just gets worse.
I was tired. Tired of trying to fix things. I just wanted it to end.

Now, let me speak about metal. Ah, what a genre. Most music is based on the maxim that less is more. But not with metal. With metal, more is more. Everyone is going crazy - the drums, the bass, both guitars, the vocals. It's insane! It's incredible :)

Live metal is even better: the music is loud, loud enough to move you. The band can't stay still, and they don't just tap their feet, they tend to jump around the stage like crazy people. The crowd won't stay still either, neither do they settle for a mere jump here and there. No, it's so intense, they have to slam into each other or fling their arms and legs in every direction because it is impossible to contain all that energy and emotion.

This is what I love.

(stolen pictures, again :) - these are from The Dead Will Tell's facebook page).

And you know the best part about this weekend? It totally restored my will to live. And it wasn't just the loud music and the fast beats and the intense screaming. It wasn't just the fact that I could dance again with everything that I am. It wasn't just being able to lose myself in the moment, to scream and jump and go crazy.
It's more than that.

Because there's this other thing about a lot of metal bands that I love. Not only do they understand that the music is important, they also know that there's something else. That music moves people, and not just to dance. They have a message to bring and it's usually pushing positive.

Ah, I must tell you something about this band, Truth and its Burden. You see, first of all, the whole gig started really late because they'd had to travel to PE all the way from Durban (after travelling to Durban from Joburg the day before), and the equipment was late, so each band had to cut their set short. Also, Truth and its Burden landed up only paying three songs (or was it two? I think it was three) because their vocalist was just too tired to play any more (he happens to be the guy who was organising the entire thing, so its understandable)(bleak though). Yet they gave everything they had into those three songs. Ashley (vocalist) was saying he was tired, and yet he was still jumping around stage like a crazy person.
Thing is, even though they didn't play many songs, the fact that they were on this tour made my get a hold of their music and listen to it beforehand. And I discovered they're really pretty awesome, so I'm glad of that :)

Now, what I wanted to tell you is what they said about one of their songs. They wrote it, he said, during a time when things really weren't going well for them. Days were pretty bleak. But this was a song of hope. Hope even in the darkest times.
I heard them speak of this, and it was exactly what I needed to hear - I needed that hope. I couldn't even hear any of the lyrics, but that didn't matter. There was a message in the music and I was getting it.

That was the entire gig for me - hope. I was myself again after that weekend. The world is still pretty messed up, and I'm still pretty bleak about it, but I'm ready to get back into the battlefield and fight for change. There is still a shred of hope in the world, there is still a chance to make a difference, and I'm going to hold onto it with all that I have.

Edit: Maybe I mean hardcore, not metal? Darn I'm not good at this genre thing at all :P Besides everyone seems to define themselves differently. Well, I'm talking about the music that I am talking about. Yeah. :)