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|Saturday, June 16th, 2007|
|Funerals you don't expect to happen
Yesterday I had a very long day. I left home at 6:45am to catch a 8am flight to Ballina. The reason being to attecnd a friend from high schools', Ellie, funeral. She was killed in a car accident last weekend.
I have been through a mixture of emotions about this. I feel very very sad when I think about her, and i feels so unfair that her life was so short, and so random that such a small incident can just end someone's life (a dog ran onto the road, and her boyfriend swerved to avoid it, hit a tree instead...country roads, it seems Alstonville and this north coast area has more than its fair share of youth killed on roads.).
I haven't seen Ellie for at least a year, but the news of her death has still been extremely shocking. Sometimes I can just distance myself from it and it doesn't seem real, but yesterday at the funeral it felt all to real, and I feel quite emotional writing about it now.
I hadn't quite realised how much of a reunion it would be, but I guess I should have. So many people from high school were there, many coming up from Sydney and Brisbane and other places. At the airport I actually ran into two high school friends and co-incidentally we were all on the same (delayed by 2 hours)-flight. Plenty of time to catch up in the airport, and we said that is anyone were to organise a reunuion it would have been Ellie.
I guess the sense of how random life and death is, and how potentially transient, has really hit me. I feel that everything is so fragile and could be taken away at any moment, so you better treasure it while you have it.
Loosing contact with people happens, it is a natural part of modern life as we all move around, but when you have contact with people, you should make sure you treasure it, care for your friends, aquaintances, old friends, new friends, current friends, they are all friends.
There were a few comments yesterday at the gathering afterwards that 'this' (all of us together) would probably not be seen again, and certainly we hope not since it took a funeral to initiate it. It was good to catch up with everyone afterwards, despite the sad situation, lots of teachers from the school were there too and it was good to catch up with them too. In a small community, tragedies are magnified, and many people showed up to show solidarity and sadness at such a young life being lost.
I felt a very depressed sad after i first heard the news, a pessimistic feeling about the world being full of suffering and stuff. Somehow, despite my misty eyes at the moment, I feel more optimistic since the funeral. It was sad but lovely funeral service. A sudden death of a 22 yr old is going to be extremely sad, but the funeral gave you some hope to grasp. Current Mood: sad
|Sunday, May 27th, 2007|
Why I think it is important to study literature, especially Chinese literature. This is a little, not very well written personal essay, helping me to justify to myself why I might want to devote parts of myself to the study of Chinese literature...
I have been to see more movies this month than I have in ages. I saw Paris Je'T aime, Crossing Borders and Tales form Earthsea. All subtitled movies, from the French, Spanish and Japanese respectively.
Tales from Earthsea was my first real Anime experience, before I have only watched snippets and have always felt I didn't know what was going on since I never watched from the beginning.
It was a beautiful film, although the story was nothing brilliant, it was enjoyable to watch. The characters were not very developed, and I don't think it stuck very closely to the books. There was something about it that didn't seem complete, like it was just a story, superficially told...I had a nice Monday night out watching it anyway.... I think I would like to watch some of the others from Gihbli studios which apparently are better.
|Sunday, May 20th, 2007|
The valient explorer sets out to prove herself as a scholar of humanities....But Alas she is bombarded with obstacles....Can she overcome them?
So I am going to China next year...and now I am thinking seriously about being a full on China person of some sort...whatever that means...I am trying to write an essay about Dream of the Red Chamber at the moment...greatest book in chinese language, apparently, although my reading experience is limited, I think it's a really good set of books, so much depth and very masterfully put together...but I wouldn't be able to make sweeping statements about it. My reading expereince will be less limited as I plough through the four books I bought from Kinukunia last week. :), and a few from the library like Jin Ping Mei, should also read Romance of the Three Kingdoms and then I've covered the four classics of premodern stuff.
Back to concentrating on literary criticism...
|Saturday, May 5th, 2007|
Lately I've been thinking more and more about China. This was probably prompted by my yet to be made decision to do honours in Chinese Studies rather than conforming to my conventional path of doing some more maths. It has been heart searching and I have been trying to think what my purpose in life might be. I have been quite happy not to have a purpose but for some reason speaking to my Dad made me feel like I was shallow or frivolous if I just potter about without a purpose. Not that he said that, but he talked about how he knew he wanted to do something that was improving the environment and eventually achieved this goal. Everything he has done from his degree, masters, job at the CSIRO, phd, better job has been fulfilling this goal. Unfortunately I am not religious so if I am to have a purpose I must think of it myself...and I started to wonder if there was any "purpose" behind my interest in China.
Sometimes I think I would much rather be interested in a "nicer" country like...I dunno are there any such places? I don''t know the answer to this, but I know that all too often I am appalled and repelled by the things I read about China. On a surface visit it is easy to be enthusiastic about China, yet to delve into what is going on in this country makes me scared and hopeless. The ideologies, the environmental horrors, the recent history and psychological damage incurred by this, the colonisation of Tibet, Inner Mongolia, The arrogance of the government and the culture in general, these are all things that repell me from China, and yet, in a strangely sadistic way, perhaps they are also things that have drawn my interest in China deeper.
At the moment there are still so many unwritten rules (or maybe they are written I wouldn;t know) about what people are allowed to think and about what they are allowed to think. It might seem like China is modernizing, especially when you go there, central Beijing resembles the future more than it resembles Sydney, even mid western Chongqing's city centre seems amazingly modern and more global than any place in Australia. Yet the thinking in China is not modern, the government policies are not modern, look at the plight of the disabled in China who can't even access mainstream universities (and we are talking about minor disabilities like missing one arm). Small " L" liberalism might be paractised economically, but not politically in China.
Is there anything I can really do? Do I really preceive myself trying to do anything? I feel compassionate but yet I am not sure if I could actually mobilise myself to devote my life to trying to improve the plight of China. Is is really my role anyway? I'm not Chinese afterall, but what do national boundaries have to do with humanity?I don't even know where to start...but learning is certainly a start...
Procrastination, have been bumming away most of day...I have to write a presentation on Hong Lou Meng. I am comparing Daoist and Confucian interpretations of sexuality. It's really interesting. Both are philosophies I would like to learn about in more depth, if I am going to even attempt to understand China. While western thinking is basically traced back to the greeks, much of Chinese thinking has (at least I am not sure how the last century has changed things) Confucianism to answer for. Actually I would say Confucianism is closer to Christianity in its respective place in society...But that is a mere uninvestigated hypothesis.
Josh Pyke Lyrics:4/5/07 7:30 NEW CD: My Favourite thing!!!
4/5/07 9:00 Teasing Alex on the phone until he begs me to tell him what I bought: My favourite thing!! :)
4/5/07 11:00 Reruns of Chaser, my favourite thing! (
last nights was paricularly hilarious when baby Chas got into aquarium and other places for free!5/5/07 Fresh Sourdough bread: My Favourite Thing!!!
|Thursday, May 3rd, 2007|
Yesterday I was in the chinese literature section of Fisher Library and I ended up borrowing a small pile of books, two by Gao XingJian, the 2000 nobel prize winner. I borrowed One Man's Bible, and The Case for Literature (which is non fiction).
Gao XingJians were the books in the pile that I felt most compelled to start reading straight away as well. So I am 7 chapters into "One Mans Bible" , and observed over breakfast that the translater of both One Mans Bible and Soul Mountain is one Mabel Lee an associate professor of Sydney University. This was very interesting, but the funny thing was when I open my email just a while ago I had an email from my Chinese Literature lecturer inviting students to attend a seminar at UTS about Translating Gao XingJian given by Mabel Lee. It's funny the co-incidences that occur. If I wasn't 7 chapters into One Mans Bible and my head buzzing with thoughts about this book, I may not have been nearly as interested in this seminar as I am now...
|Tuesday, May 1st, 2007|
I hate it when "grown-ups" say things are a waste of time. Everyone seems to be thinking I am mucking around. Helen Dunstan just asked why I am wasting my time doing Spanish, I could do that any old time she said...Like when?? Anyway, I went to meet her, and got a little told off for not coming to see her earlier when i could have changed what subjects I am doing this semester. Ahh, so scarey to have to make decisions, although I guess if you make the wrong one, you can always just 'waste' a bit more time at Uni rectifying the situation.
See people don't see their own subjects as a waste of time, just everyone elses, and so everyone thinks you should dive headlong into their specific area, and when you hedge your bets no one really understands. I think Helen would have understood more if I'd said I was going to abandon Chinese Studies and focis on Maths and Stats than that I still wanted to dribble along doing a few other subjects at the same time...
Sigh, So it looks like something's gotta give. Either Stats, Spanish, or even Chinese if it is going to require me to give up too much else. I sort of wanted to at least semi finish a Stats major (minus 6 credit points) just in case I wanted that in the future, or to do a AYAD thing or something.. But I am also rather attached to Spanish and would find that rather hard to let go of. But to do Chinese at a higher level i really should expose myself a bit more to the humanities (the evil evil humanities). So blah I would have to do 2 or even 3 subjects towards Chinese next semester. Once I make this descision i think I can live with it, making it on the other hand might require considerable pain. Seeing whether I get a scholarship for China may help alleviate the pain, although it would be preferable to see this sooner rather than later, at least sooner than the exchange deadline so I can change first preference to beijing...
It's times like these you can only go Om Mani Padme Hum :)
。重要的是找/得到悟。我这几天想起这本书很多次。还有书里面的nu人。 （我怎么打印nu?, 那个“u"不一样，键盘不认识我打印的。）
|Saturday, April 28th, 2007|
Om Mani Padme Hum (唵嘛呢叭咪吽
, pinyin Ǎn Má Ní Bā Mī Hōng).......... I solemny swear to stop obsessing about the future and to be more 'presenty'. Free the self from desires...Live for the moment.
暗嘛呢叭咪红！ my chinese character package doesn't seem to have 'an'=唵,
This mantra is a Tibetan buddhist mantra to the Boddhistava of compassion. I just wiki'ed it and got to a link where Lama Zopa Rinpoche says "The benefits of reciting the Compassion Buddha mantra are infinite, like the limitless sky." Hmmm......
well.... Om mani padme hum.....om mani padme hum....feeling more compassionate and calm already :)
Time for some indulgence in the present ;)
(4 1 4 1)
Literal : Eat and drink to one's heart's content;
English: to waste too much money on feasting and partying;
|A Spanish idiom a day
A donde fueres haz lo que vieres.
Literal: Wherever you go, do what you see.
English: When in Rome do as the Romans do.
|Sunday, April 22nd, 2007|
How reading the question properly can transform an impossible task into a relatively simple one. I have been lamenting my complete lack of ability in Stats all morning and how I just fundamentally don´t understand what I am doing. Well...now that I have stopped being tanto estúpido
the ¨understanding¨ is flowing all through me. Current Mood: Slapping Head, Duh
|Thursday, April 19th, 2007|
Mañana hay un examen en español. Estoy muy aprensivo, porque no sé nada! Para mi, distinguir cuando usamos el preterito perfecto de el indefinido todavía es dificil. Además a pesar de que tengo cuidado, siempre cometo muchos errores. En el examen hay muchas cosas que tengo concentrar mi atención, poe ejemplo: si el verbo es irregular, que pasado, que conjugacaión (yo, tú, etc..), que palabra. Muchas cosas y no hay mucho tiempo.
Hoy he pensado mucho sobre ir a chino. No sé el razon, pero este manaña cuando me despertaba, pensé del chino. Pienso que soñé de la beca que solicité en Diciembre. La universidad la beca no la dieron a nadie, pues tienen que darlo a alguien este semestre. ¿Es una oportunidad, no? Lo creo.
Ahora, tengo que estudiar para el examen. ¡Deséame suerte!
|Tuesday, April 17th, 2007|
Yay. I am now the happy owner of Settlers of Catan with all its extensions!¡!¡
Hoy resuelvo escribir algo en español cada dia, ( o por lo menos cada semana). La mayoría de mis amigos no pueden leer eso, pero me pueden vigilar. En realidad, debería escribir algo en chino tambien...quizas en el futuro lo proberé pero ahora estoy bastante ocupado.
Este tarde he cocinado la cenar para mi y mi novio. Cuando estabamos viniendo a casa, tenía mucho hambre, pues despues de llegué a casa empezó a cocinar inmediatamente. El razon que tenía tanto hambre es que he hecho ¨bodypump¨, y he usado mis músculos.
Ahora voy a mirar la television. SBS va a dar una program sobre los juegos de computadoras por el Internet. ¡Hasta Luego!
|Monday, April 9th, 2007|
Men all know that salvation should be won,
But with ambition won't have done, have done.
Where are the famous ones of days gone by?
In grassy graves they lie now, every one.
Men all know that salvation should be won,
But with their riches won't have done, have done.
Each day they grumble they've not made enough.
When they've enough, it's goodnight everyone!
In such commotion does the world's theatre rage:
As each one leaves another takes the stage.
In vain we roam:
Each in the end must call a strange land home...
|Thursday, March 29th, 2007|
|Buddhist Sentiments from Dream of the Red Chamber
'Alas! this particle of dust,
the human soul,
Is only playing out
a predetermined role.
Why grieve to watch
The Wheel of Karma turn?
A moonlike purity remains
My constant goal.'
Since at first there was no space,
Things can have no proper place.
From Void all comes;
To Void must all return.
volume 4 ch 87
|Sunday, March 25th, 2007|
Well, it was pointed out to em so time ago that I should not have my most recent post coming up as an "I'm so depressed" entry..and so I have decided finally to update my journal. Still gettiug used to this whole bloggy thing. So I have not recorded our trip here, instead wrote lots of emails, but then I suppose I id not publish these to everyone.
The trip was great, (to China, Spain and Portugal and The Netherlands) taversing my four language zones, and had me wanting to stay longer an improve my proficiency in all of them. Now we're been home a month and after coming down off my travelling high, real life has taken grip. But real life is quite fun this semester so far. I will have to find a way to manage everything as semester goes on and gets busier, but for now, I am on top of things and have been doing lots of fun things too. It was a resolution this yearto see friends more (esp than last year when I felt like I'd lost contact with lots of people). I don't like it that there are some friends now who I hardly know what they are up to or how they are anymore, cause I never see them round. So every fortnight we have been having games night or some kind of fortnightly night that ineveitably ends up being a games night with our group of friends.
So far they have been great, we had games night, pancakes night (which ended in a risk game) and tapas night. The first games night shalll forever be in my memory as the games night where James went into the bathroom to eat biscuits cause he didn't have enough to share around with everyone, only to get busted by someone coming in to wash their hands. It was hilarious as he sheepishly had to explain himself to everyone ;).
Last night was tapas night and we showed people our spain pictures. I made spanish meatballs and spanish vegetables and chickpeas, and also little things on bread like chorizo. Oh I nearlly forgot the salmorejo soup. That turned out fantastically, there were just a little too many people, or a bit too little soup. We opened one our our single colheita ports which are like vinatge ports excpet it wasn't from a declared vintage year.
At one point during the night, John who came late and was hungry, was told he could go and eat some meat skewers if he wanted, as I had made these meat skewers and they just needed to be grilled for a few minutes. Next thing we know, an much to everyone's mirth he's eaten one, but without cooking it, not even realising it was raw!!
This semester has also got off to a good start with the starting of the Wednesday hump day tradition. Every wednesday I am doing body balance and then we do something to celebrate it being the end of wednesday and hence being over the "hump" of the middle of the week. Last week it was winetasting and dinner in the new cafe up the road which was very lovely.
I am also really enjoying my subjects, well stats is just OK, but I am enthusiastic about spnish I just need to sit down and do some hard work. And the chinese subject I am doing, we get to read The Dream of The Red Chamber which is turning out to be really fantastic. I will probably write some more about my thoughts on this book later. It is massive (5 volumes) and I really should go keep reading it now cause I am a bit behind by this weeks schedule. It is giving me a real insight into pre modern chinese culture as well.
So yes, I have long been quite a lot happier than I was during the week I last posted. ;)
|Tuesday, May 16th, 2006|
I feel so tired and basically shit!!!
And I hate feeling like shit!!! :)
I think I will go nap now, how depressing things seem. Why do I find life so wearing?? Current Mood: worn out and pessimistic