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: , , , ,

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

Blog, Misc Comments Off

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 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: , , , , , ,

Jun 14

This time next week, I’ll be home free. No more exams, study, or any of the nastiness for the next three weeks.

I have no sympathy for those about to go back to school tomorrow. Sucks to be you :)

Sadly, it’s not all fun and games. The vast majority of my friends are already on holidays (or will be in the next couple of days), and here I am, slaving over powerpoint presentations and listening to lecture audio, which seems to have been recorded at the “most horrible quality/more appalling than ah-paul-ling” setting… =/

Along with every exam period comes procrastination, and this particular exam period. I’ve done all I can to avoid studying over the weekend, but I managed to look at some Web Management slides. I’m so sorry, fellow procrastinators ;)

Anyway, couple of semi-important things – I’m poor. This has come from me buying lots of things (if it’s important, I’d show you).

I’ve also bought my first song off the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) in a long time, The Ting Ting’s That’s Not My Name. It’s quite catchy, actually. The reason I bought it was because apparently, it’s a heavily played song at the start of Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) sessions.

If you wanna watch the video, hit up this YouTube link.

Go on – you know you want to procrastinate! :D

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

Jun 08

Long story short, there’s still a lot of study to be done and not a lot of time for it to be done in.

Unfortunately, finding motivation to study is difficult, to say the least. There’s always something on the internet more interesting that studying, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or anything else. Sure, I could just turn off these distractions, but then studying would become more of a chore – and the aim is to make studying something enjoyable.

However, it’s hard to enjoy something when you know you’re not going to fare excellently, either. While the KXT101 exam will be all about pedantics (and semantics), I know that I’ll get caught up, trip up, and fall. Hard.

I suppose it doesn’t help that some of the lecture audio is either missing, or of horrendous quality. I was listening to a lecture today where there was this constant hissing/static in the background – it was so annoying it made what the lecturer was trying to say unbearably difficult to understand. I had to stop it half way through – otherwise, my ears would have started bleeding.

In any case, the countdown begins – not only to WWDC 2009 (3am local time on the Tuesday 9th June for anyone interested), but also to the end of the exam period – my last exam is on the 20th, after which I”m home free for two and a half weeks. ^_^

I look forward to the holidays. Unbelievably so.

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