Sep 01

As I sit here and write this, staring with a certain sense of gloom into the bottom of my now-empty mug of Fruit Loops and warm milk on the wrong side of 12am I hold in my hands a small ticket stub.

It’s no ordinary ticket stub. It didn’t originate from the movies, the opera, a live sporting game, or any other place that would normally distribute tickets in return for admission into their respective venues/events.

It’s a ticket stub from Youth Alive 2009, but whether that’s relevant to this message is debatable. As I look upon this half-torn ticket stub I think about the events that it reflected – the incredible stench of the mosh pit, the “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” comment I made when some girls left the mosh pit, the energy that was conveyed through light and sound.

It’s almost saddening that the only physical reminder of what was an exceptional event is a torn-in-half ticket stub. There might be a poster here or there, some facebook posts, even a photo or two, but apart from that, the only tangible reminder that that event actually happened is this ticket stub.

Sometimes I wish that I had a Pensieve like Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies, just so I can store my thoughts and memories for later. I know that one of these days I’ll grow old and that some of these memories will start to fade, and then what? I’ll become old and only somewhat-relevant like one of my Uni lecturers? I don’t want to be one of those people¬† that start reminiscing out loud whenever I get the chance – of course it’ll mean that I have lots of experience, but experience means nothing if you can’t apply it in any relevant form.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that unlike what certain films would suggest, diamonds aren’t forever, and neither are memories. Tangible things – the things we can touch, see, smell, and taste – are the most pertinent reminders of people we once were, and I’d hate for that to all go to waste.

Carpe diem.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , ,

Aug 09

Socially Inept

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There’s not a whole lot to say anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I love talking – give me intelligent conversation about something I take an interest in, and I can probably talk for a while before I start to lose interest. Usually it’s just the small talk I have an issue with.

Ahh yes, the small talk. That subject which most of us who are socially inept choose to ignore almost completely, while at the same time struggling to comprehend exactly what it is and how it works.

And I suppose that’s the thing – for many of us geeks and nerds alike, small talk just doesn’t. It’s not that we’re inherently bad at it, it’s just that it’s made all the more awkward for us who spend more time online than girls spend in the bathroom.

I suppose when it comes down to it, i don’t really care what the weather is like. I really could not care less about the weather.

I also find I hard to hold a conversation with someone who doesn’t actually add anything of value to the conversation – if I’m not getting anything from you in return, I’m sure as hell not going to volunteer much in the first place. This’ll usually lead to a stagnant conversation.

Don’t event get me started on conversations with the opposite sex. You might think it’s hilarious when we get tongue-tied in front of an incredibly attractive blonde, or the cutest brunette you’ve ever laid eyes on, but I can tell you right now it’s not actually that funny. More embarassing than anything else, but again, I struggle to find a reason for why it happens in the first place – there’s no real reason why it happens, it just does. Realistically the attractive blonde or cute brunette isn’t different to you in any other way; they still have two eyes, one nose, two ears and so on – you can start to see where this is going, yeah?

Sigh.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , ,

Jul 26

My question to you, ladies and gentlemen, is this: do we suffer from too much mediocrity?

Do we put up with too much crap?

Do we, for want of a better phrase, just not give a stuff when we’re served up a nice pot of mediocre soup?

Do we continue to drink this mediocre soup until it makes us satisfied? CAN we be satisfied from a double dose of mediocrity?

I’m not talking about just have crap stuff, to be honest – more the fact that we’re satisfied with our crap stuff. There’s none of this “ooh, I want something better because of such and such a reason”, there’s none of this “wow, that’s amazing, but what about this” attitude which encourages excellence.

The real question is why we continue to settle for second best. Is nothing good enough for us anymore? Are we all too aware of our own limitations, and, as a result, continually fail to think outside of the box? Is this why we’re always setttling for something that isn’t beyond our wildest dreams?

The answer is simple; by always settling for second best, for always accepting that which is given to us and never questioning how much more we can achieve, it’s no surpise that we haven’t had any great minds of our (present-day) time. It’s no real surprise that we still can’t solve some of our own petty issues, both foreign and domestic. It’s no surpise that our advancement as the human race has been hampered by our constant ability to scorn those who think outside the box.

This post explains quite well the diadvantages of an elite education.

In other news, I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the other day. It was pretty good – there wasn’t as much magic as I thought there was going to be, and Voldemort himself didn’t make an appearance at all, but it was good nonetheless – a rating of 83 on Rotten Tomatoes, it must be true! ;)

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , ,

Jul 21

Old Friends

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So recently I recieved a gift from an old friend.

This friend and I, we go waaaay back. All the way back to Prep, and even possibly before that, I can’t really remember.

Recently he went on a trip to Europe for winning some incredibly lucrative art prize, who’s name I forget at this moment.

Anyway, he brought me back a comic book.

Yeah, laugh it up.

There’s nothing special about a comic book, you say. This isn’t just any comic book – this comic book and I go waaaay back.

Lazy Sunday afternoons at church, my friend and I would pour through these books together. The ones we enjoyed (graphic novels, comic books, whatever you want to call them), we read again, and again, and again. There was one particular one that we thought was particularly awesome – Suske and Wiske.

Truth be told, it’s not the best comic ever made. It’s not the plot, storyline, or characters that make this such an awesome comic – rather, it all those times we shared laughing at the ridiculousness of it’s event’s (there’s one time where some guy shoots an arrow, it somehow does a 180 in mid air behind the target, and knocks out an arrow that has already hit the bullseye from behind), and all those times we read it, engaged in it’s gripping (but somewhat twisted, I’ll admit) storyline.

To be fair, the copy that he bought me back isn’t in english. As far as I can tell it’s in Danish or some other bizzare language – the copy that we read back in the day has now been lost in antiquity, but that was in english. I’ll need a translator to read any of the dialogue, but it’s still awesome being able to look back on those pages and see the graphics that bought us together.

Sure, it’s not the same book. But it’s as good as, and besides – it’s the thought that counts, right?

Thanks mate. You’re a bloody legend – you know who you are :)

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jul 12

So.

Here we are again.

The start of a new semester looms large, and it feels like the holidays just flew past.

I doubt it had anything to do with the fact that I worked for the vast majority of the holidays.

Seriously, when I look back and see what I have (or rather, have not) achieved it’s kind of depressing. It all comes down to so much to do and so little time to do it in – whether it’s writing the Monday Morning News for Mactalk, or doing dodgy deals on OCAU, or assembling, testing, and benchmarking my not-so-cheap-anymore gaming rig, sometimes it feels like there’s just not enough hours in the day to achieve what I want to do.

In a perfect world, the sun wouldn’t set until I had accomplished everything I wanted to in that particular day – this would certainly make life easier. It might also help if there weren’t so many other factors that made my life difficult. Why can’t there be less variables to factor in? Why can’t the control be the perfect scenario? Continuing with the science theme, why can’t my hypothesis be correct 100% of the time?

I guess that’s just not how it’s supposed to be.

If everything was so easy, what would push people to do the extraordinary? That being said, what drives people to do the same thing day in and day out? Surely there’s something more than what we’ve been given on this earth?

Whatever it is, I can tell you now that there are a hell of a lot of people searching for it.

Anyway…

I saw the new Transformers movie today with a friend. It was pretty good – say what you will about the plot (holes), Michael bay’s performance as a director, but there’s no denying that however bad Megan Fox’s acting is, she provided ample eye-candy.

As did Isabel Lucas, I might add. She’s hawt. :D

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Jul 06

So our family has this couch, right. Call it a sofa if you want, call it a “lounge suite”, call it whatever you want. I’m going to be using the terms somewhat interchangeably, so there.

It’s funny – it’s not a particularly attractive couch, and it’s certinaly not very new, or in very good shape. The fabric has come apart in some places, it’s covered in strains from I-don’t-want-to-know-where, and generally, it could do with some new stuffing, or whatever they put in couches these days. Our family and this couch? We go waaaay back, and it shows.

It’s true that we tried to replace the couch with a newer cousin of the leather variety. However, even when we banished the old couch¬† to the depths of the rumpus room (rumpus, lol), it still managed to find it’s way upstairs into the main living room – no mean feat for a couch, I can tell you.

Everytime an ad for a new lounge suite comes on TV, I think of this couch. Not because the couches on TV are usually ridiculously expensive, or because the ad is really, really poorly designed, but because it’s that sometimes it’s not new things that are the best. This couch, for example? 9 times out of 10, we sit on it in preference to the other, more expensive, newer, leather couch, and I’m not quite sure why – maybe because it’s more convenient? It’s certinaly warmer on the non-leather couch – whoever thought that leather and Tasmanian weather would be a good match was clearly out of their mind…

I suppose it’s not for any sentimental reason – even though we’ve had the couch for some time now, we don’t keep it for that reason. It could be gone tomorrow, and we’d simply move on and start putting some, er, ass-time, if you would, into the new one.

Is it because it’s more comfortable? Possibly. Because it’s just there? Maybe.

I suppose the real answer is that that there is no real answer. Whatever combinations of reasons it could be, there are an equal amount of answers that it couldn’t be.

Like many other things in life, it just is. There’s no reason, no explanation.

And I’m okay with that. :)

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , ,