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This is a journal entry of mine.  A class I attend requires that I write my journal daily and present it to the teacher.  This is for Feb 11, 2011 (Fri) … You can see how disorganized I have been these days. I am going through some metamorphosis these days and I’m hoping things turn out well.

Today was supposed to work with a perfect predetermined plan but things went astray because I had turned the alarm off and went back to sleep in the morning.  Consequences were: I got to class half an hour late and got the last warning for being despicably late and all my other plans got disjointed.  I should pay more mind to the sound of the alarm.  It was not that I had not had enough sleep for the night but I was too lazy to get up then.  I had to rush to class by taxi and without lunch.

Class was over at 2:00pm and the AC party where I was performing a song was scheduled to start at 3:00pm sharp.  I had to rush further to get back home, have lunch, take a shower and run to AC.  The AC party started late fortunately and it had been expected to start late waiting for people to arrive.  I had imagined it as a party on the lawn but turned out to be inside the CBH.  I went on stage as the second program.

Although I am doing fine with my singing when I am alone or with familiar people, I still have some trouble maintaining composure on stage.  It becomes very clear when I belt; the voice does not go up high and clear, but it gets blurry and without adequate confidence.  I saw the girl who won the AC Idol perform; she was not much of a singer but was a great performer on stage and everybody loved her.  I also got applauded, of course, since there was a huge audience in a compact hall.  An AC teacher called me “the famous Deline” and I felt really proud that I still have this “popular” status which I held all the way back in middle and high school.

The role play was particularly amusing.  It was about a philosopher in search of the definition of love.  It parodied ancient epic love stories and voicing on LGBT love.  The actor who played the main character was a natural actor, a comedian.

The party turned out to be some fancy show sadly.  Professional singers were invited and student singers had to wait till their performances were over to get on stage.  Students should have been given more priority, since this was a student-organized event for students.  Although the party holders had sold tickets, there was not enough food and drinks for everyone.  I did not get any drinks, just some sandwich with no taste.

I got home late – around 8:00pm.  Thanks goodness, the day was not tiring.

NOTE: The class mentioned in the post is the class in which I have to submit my journal entries.  It was really a nightmare to see the teacher’s countenance thenHopefully, I am reaching some equilibrium in my time management because of an assignment given that day.  I just submitted this entry this afternoon.

Blog Review 2010

WordPress sent me this mail … It’s been there for some time but I hadn’t known because I don’t check my blog mail. I thought I’d post it here:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Minty-Fresh™.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times

In 2010, there were 17 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 52 posts. There were 26 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 13th with 16 views. The most popular post that day was THE WARATAH OMEN (true story).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, studentloan-consolidation-info.info, en.wordpress.com, alphainventions.com, and translate.google.com.co.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for creepy statements, the waratah omen, waratah omen, disney wallpaper, and michael jackson 1985.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

THE WARATAH OMEN (true story)October 2009
1 comment

2

CREEPY STATEMENTS – These are reputedly real!November 2009

3

“MAN IN THE MIRROR” by Michael JacksonOctober 2009

4

4 KINDS OF MEN – AnonymousOctober 2009
1 comment

5

WORDS OF MARILYN MONROE (1926-1962)October 2009
1 comment

I recently read this marvellous joke written by a friend.  These aren’t the exact original words, but it’s as funny as the original.

Padestrian     : Taxi, taxi …
(Taxi stops for the prospective passanger.)
Taxi Driver   : Yes, sir?
Padestrian     : How much do you do you charge for a ride to the railway station from here?
Taxi Driver   : That would be 2,000 kyats, sir.
Padestrian     : What about my luggage?  Do I have to pay for it?
Taxi Driver   : No, sir, you don’t need to.
Padestrian     : Well, then, my good man, take my luggage … I’m walking to the station.

I AM A TREE … EVERGREEN

This is an application essay for a programme I had applied for but hadn’t made in, in 2009.  It asks each applicant to describe himself/herself with a metaphor.  Some other applicants’ metaphors were “an uncut stone“, “a mirror“, “fire“, “dynamic pillared tier“, etc.  This is mine:

Tree

I wanna be like a tree ...

I consider myself to be similar to a tree in several ways.  Although I am not completely like a tree yet, I would like the stages of my life to be akin to the growth of a tree.  I intend my set of beliefs and my role in community to resemble how a tree serves the environment.  Since I would like to be of service to mankind throughout my life, I exemplify myself with a tree evergreen.

Fertile soil, bountiful sunshine, adequate water and others factors contribute to the growth of a tree.  I am privileged to have been well nurtured by my parents, teachers and relatives.  As a tree gets itself firmly rooted in the ground, I appreciate and love dearly all those who have helped me.  I will keep moving forward to experience new and better things like a tree grows higher towards sunlight.  I shall compound my knowledge and learn new things as long as I live – similar to the growth of a tree until its death.

I, as a tree evergreen, will be a shaft of beauty towering high – I will try to become an idolized role model to many people.  Being someone who believes in caring and sharing, I want to do it for those around whom my world revolves.  A tree can care and share; it grows leaves, flowers and fruits and provides sap and wood.  These can serve as food, shelter or other materials for humans and other animals while as a whole, it provides shade and coolness.  I would like to share all the good things I have in my little world with every possible person.

I have a good intension to keep caring for and sharing with others.  I would like to maintain consistency of my precepts and principles in life like an evergreen keeps its foliage all year round.  I will stand tall to get by and keep growing till my last breath.  I am indeed a tree evergreen!

I consider myself to be similar to a tree in several ways.  Although I am not completely like a tree yet, I would like the stages of my life to be akin to the growth of a tree.  I intend my set of beliefs and my role in community to resemble how a tree serves the environment.  Since I would like to be of service to mankind throughout my life, I exemplify myself with a tree evergreen.

Fertile soil, bountiful sunshine, adequate water and others factors contribute to the growth of a tree.  I am privileged to have been well nurtured by my parents, teachers and relatives.  As a tree gets itself firmly rooted in the ground, I appreciate and love dearly all those who have helped me.  I will keep moving forward to experience new and better things like a tree grows higher towards sunlight.  I shall compound my knowledge and learn new things as long as I live – similar to the growth of a tree until its death.

I, as a tree evergreen, will be a shaft of beauty towering high – I will try to become an idolized role model to many people.  Being someone who believes in caring and sharing, I want to do it for those around whom my world revolves.  A tree can care and share; it grows leaves, flowers and fruits and provides sap and wood.  These can serve as food, shelter or other materials for humans and other animals while as a whole, it provides shade and coolness.  I would like to share all the good things I have in my little world with every possible person.

I have a good intension to keep caring for and sharing with others.  I would like to maintain consistency of my precepts and principles in life like an evergreen keeps its foliage all year round.  I will stand tall to get by and keep growing till my last breath.  I am indeed a tree evergreen!

NOTE: This is too strong a form of self-aggrandizement, but it can reflect my real self.  And with no amazement, I find that I feel the same way about myself as I had felt while writing this essay.

Natasha Bedingfield is another ‘real’ artist; there’s always much energy and provocation in her music – both words, style and voice.  I’ve admired her since “Unwritten” but in “Strip Me” she has taken her artistry to a whole new level.  There have been a lot of nay-say about the album by critics but it has coherent musical and contextual theme and I love it.

Here’s the lyrics to her song “Weightless” from the “Strip Me” album.  It’s my favourite among the tracks and it’s as inspirational as “Unwritten”.

Natasha Bedingfield

Beautiful woman ... Viva Natasha!

I have to keep reminding myself
I’m not like anyone else
That’s my face on my ID
That makes me VIP
No one exactly like this
No one with my fingerprints
No one can touch you like me
No I can’t fake what you see

They told me, “Girl, to get you’re way, you’ve got to be a bitch!”
They say a guy won’t get the girl, if he’s not filthy rich
You stop with little changes, till you don’t know who you are
Surround yourself with friends who only call you a superstar

Oh yeah (oh yeah), Oh yeah (oh yeah), Oh yeah (oh yeah)
(Ready, set, baby let’s go)

The sky is the limit and I just wanna float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless
Millions of balloons gather to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless

I’m weightless, I’m weightless, I’m weightless … Mm

All the things I held in my fist
If I don’t let go, I don’t exist
They’ve become the things that define me
How I look and the things to buy me
That’s not important anymore
I feel me rising off the floor
Light as a feather, I’m carefree, I’m weightless…

The sky is the limit and I just wanna float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless
Millions of balloons heading to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless

(Oh yeah) I’m weightless, (oh yeah) I’m weightless, (oh yeah) I’m weightless
La la la la la…

They told me, “Girl, to get you’re way, you’ve got to be a bitch!”
They say a guy won’t get the girl, if he’s not filthy rich
It seems to me that’s so heavy it weighs you down like lead
Don’t wanna be someone I hate ’cause that too make no sense … No

The sky is the limit and I just wanna float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless … I’m weightless

(Ready, set, baby let’s go) … Woo

The sky is the limit and I just wanna float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless (oh weightless), I’m weightless (oh weightless)
Millions of balloons gather to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless (oh weightless), I’m weightless…

(Ready, set, baby let’s go)
Oh yeah (oh weightless), oh yeah (oh weightless), oh yeah (oh weightless)
I’m free as a spirit
Oh yeah (oh weightless), oh yeah (oh weightless)
There’s nothing holding me down
(Oh yeah) … (Nothing holding me down)

P.S. There may be some mistakes in the lyrics displayed here.

HAD WE A PAIR OF WINGS

Humans are not meant to fly with their own wings and we all wonder why and what if.

Can we humans fly?  The answer is a big YES, but it is not actually so.  We are just making things float in the air and riding the wind with their help.  We can’t fly, we are not meant to.  Our bodies don’t allow us the capability of flight.  The reason, to most of us, is: we don’t have wings.  What if we did?  What would they look like – the a bird’s with feathers, like a bat’s with skin and bones, like insects’ (wings of a butterfly, wings of a dragonfly or wings of a bumblebee)?

Suppose all of mankind had wings … Suppose all humans developed wings as we evolved to be Homo sapiens.  What would life be like?

Civilizations would probably have emerged in history since the becoming of Homo sapiens is characterized by gain in intelligence.  However, we would more likely be in clans rather than cities or nations.  And we couldn’t have reached this far in history.  The pair of wings would make a lot of things different in our lives.  Transportation by air would have been convenient in the first place, so possibly we wouldn’t be inventing wheels or transportation devices that employ wheels.  Humans would still like ease, so they would be inventing and renovating such things like “wing-flappers” or enslaving large but dumb flying animals.  With an over-reliance on the wings, we would eventually lose our legs or keep shot ones if we did need to stand on them.  No leg or dysfunctional legs mean more work for the hand that is now used for holding, handling and which has made humans so able among mammals.  We would be using the hands for more purposes than we are now – they could also become balancing appendages in walking.  One thing for sure, to be fit for survival, we would have to let go of the loveable looks of those angels in Michelangelo paintings – we won’t be in God’s form anymore and we can’t look like God’s angels.

Winged girl

Everybody fancies a pair of wings but modern man can’t look like this if they had wings.

Our shelters would be treetops and caves or niches in high places rather than the ground which not only puts us in the danger of lurking predators but has also us a lot of things throughout history.  The safety of high places could eliminate the need for fire – no fire, no nothing!  Since we would have left the ground for the sky, there would be a late discovery of agriculture and we would have learnt to settle down later thus.  However, there would be a lot of hunting – for food and all kinds of prey.  We would definitely rule out every other flying being from rising above us, just like we got to the top of the food chain.  Due to a late discovery of agriculture and settlements, there would be little architecture or technology and we would not be sent to school for education.  No need to study, hooray!  As a downturn, this could cause our brains to atrophy but I believe we could stay smarter than whales and dolphins or chimps and orang-utans, i.e. we would still be the intelligent life form.

One thing about wings is there would be more room in us for ego, pride, arrogance and discrimination.  Humans would get obsessed with their wings as wings are part of their looks.  We would be proud of our wings if they’re good-looking and discriminate and be arrogant to others who don’t have perfect wings or have flying disabilities.  That’s just an inevitable fraction of human nature!

It sure wouldn’t be a pretty sight if all of us – every human – had wings.  And it is not a good idea to stand out among others as the one and only “winged-man”; novelty (mutation) leads to discrimination – like in the X-men movies.  So, I’d rather walk on my own two feet and never wish for wings.  If I want to fly away, I’d get on an aeroplane.

Rain, sunshine, snow, blue skies;
You’re gloomy if you feel so inside.
Near, far, seconds, light years;
Break barriers, don’t cling to fears.
Big, small, with or no form
You’ll be small if size not ignored.
Go see yourself in the mirror –
Know this: It’s who you see you are!

FIND THE FAKE ONE

This is another great maths riddle I got from my teacher. He finished his Masters degree in the University of London specializing in ‘function analysis’. This isn’t something he made up, but he just has a way with maths …

Balance

Here's the balance to use ...

There are eight pieces of gold of the same mass (i.e. same mass and weight), but one fake piece of gold, which is lighter than every piece else is among them.  We are given a balance but no weights.  How many times at least can we use the balance to sort out the fake piece from the others?

This isn’t really tough.  I’ll post the answer as a comment some other time.  If you are through with this problem, try finding out a fake piece of gold from 10 pieces of gold (including the fake) and from 27 pieces of gold (including the fake).  It gets tougher but nothing’s that difficult.  Enjoy!

Country singers do have a way with making me emotional, especially about home and family.  This is something that literally moved me to tears.  It’s one of the best country songs I’ve heard.  In my life, I’ve lived in my current home for like 17 years, and my family is going to have to move out soon – I’ll be remembering it all my life.  This is for “The House that Built ME” …

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert

I know they say you can’t go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam
But these handprints on the front steps are mine

Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
I bet you didn’t know under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard

I thought if I could touch this place or feeling
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

Mama cut out pictures of houses for years
From Better Homes and Gardens magazine
Plans were drawn and concrete poured
Nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama’s dream

I thought if I could touch this place or feeling
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could walk around in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am

I thought if I could touch this place or feeling
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I walk around I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

FOR THE SAKE OF ENJOYMENT

It’s truly a wonderful world with beauty all around; we needn’t go far but just look around ourselves to enjoy it and escape from the things of life.

I am fond of arts and consider myself to be an aesthete.  I happen to be a keen music-lover and one thing I get to enjoy along with the music when I buy an audio CD album is the album cover design, which we call “album art” or “artwork”.  About a month ago, I came across Christina Aguilera’s latest album “Bionic” and it has this really elaborate cover.  The left half of her face was replaced by mechanical parts to give it a cyborg look, and yet she has those sexy red lips on and wavy blonde hair.  The design is provocative and very well crafted, but – although there is a good meaning behind it – I wouldn’t have gone that far.

I was greatly fancied by the “Bionic” artwork, but the ones I really love are simpler and can say well about what music in the album.  For example, in the album cover of Leona Lewis’s “Spirit”, Leona’s eyes can tell that we are in to hear Leona’s psyche, her train of thought, etc.  The photo of Celine Dion embracing a wrapped gift in the album art of her holiday album “These Are Special Times” is really telling about the album contents.  Sometimes, for various reasons, we are conditioned into thinking that only objects created with a touch of sophistication are of artistic value, whether we can or cannot appreciate art well.

Artworks “Bionic”, “Spirit” and “These are special times”

Compare these three divas' artworks - LEFT TO RIGHT: “Bionic”, “Spirit” and “These are special times” artworks

Guess what?  The dull-looking dreary things work just fine.  We just need to know how to appreciate them.

Louis Armstrong sang of a “wonderful world”, and come to think of it his way, the world is wonderful in its own way – without Michelangelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare or even Armstrong himself.  As a matter of fact, the reason these artists’ works – in fine arts, music, literature or whatever art form – has held international acclaim since their creation is that their works portray with a natural tone the things that goes on in real life.

This profound essence can be clearly observed in Jane Austen’s oeuvre.  Honestly, I have never read the original writings of Austen but I daresay that there wouldn’t be much eloquence in her words, for words are not what make her writings special.  The beauty of her works lie in the themes and the plots of the stories.  If we were to pursue only beautifully written words, we could easily find them in love letters our admirers had given us or those we had given to our loved ones. (Love letters can contain words more impressive than those from romantic novels!)  Therefore, whatever may love letters say, we continue to read works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, etc.

In the realm of music, many musicians credit Mozart for being curious and positive like a little child about the world even in his most mature pieces.  And Mozart’s music, I’ve come to be able to relate with many things in real life.  I’ve listened to it on a taxi in the busy streets of Yangon, on a bus trip from Yangon to Mandalay, while staring out the window on a rainy day and in the darkness of a sleepless night, and yet every scene matches perfectly with his music.  There’s more than magic in the music.  This feeling can be observed in the music by only few artists.  Contemporary songs in which people play “love games” or want “bad romance” could be exciting but they are in fact too outlandish to be classic.  People resort to the classics when they want true music, which reflects nature.  (NOTE: “Classics” is NOT “classical music”.)

As for the arts, the majority of existing works from long, long ago are usually the finest works of the artists in the old days.  And the reason for their long-lasting is probably their depiction of things that are real, things to which any person can relate.  I am not very knowledgeable about paintings and sculptures, so I dare not give any examples for the renowned works of the studio arts.  But one sure example would be Claude Monet’s oil painting series of “Water Lillies (or) Nymphèas”.  They truly are mesmerising.

One thing I have learnt recently is that works based on ideas that are too fanciful tend to be transitory.  In the late 1990s and in the early 2000s, there was one thing very popular with children called the “Power Rangers”.  They have almost perished from our thoughts, and we rarely see their action figures in toy stores as many these days as we used to a decade ago.  Many of us might think that is because we now have more fascinating superhero movies with more advanced graphics.  (Some of us may not notice this because we grew up to put away the toys.)  The Transformers or the X-men would soon be forgotten as the Superman, the Batman or the Spiderman had been replaced by various species of Power Rangers.  We always forgo what we have for what is better, while, in fact, such things are too good to last.  The same thing happened to disco music in the 1970s: it was too exciting to last.  However, I could say we would still watch Mr Bean as long as we can recall Charlie Chaplin.

Movie posters

Movie trend – LEFT TO RIGHT: “The Batman”, “X-men” and “Avatar”

Apart from the intentionally created works of art, we can also find beauty in our daily lives and enjoy it.  Pigeons flying about among the busy citizens in the streets of downtown Yangon can be a special movie clip.  One can find musical rhythm in the chanting of a Buddhist monk or the falling of the rain and the blowing of the wind.  The joyful squeals of little children hold more music than Mariah Carey’s whistle ringer.  A gourmet can find as exquisite taste in a street-hawker’s food as in a dish from an elite restaurant.

Besides the aforementioned type of aesthetic beauty, there is some other kind of splendour that we can appreciate.  It is what Richard Feynman called “scientific awe”, and he would often talk about it in his book “Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman”.  It is conventional to think that a person with keen scientific instincts is incapable of exploring the wonders of art.  However, Feynman proved himself to be a very able aesthete with passionate appreciation of the world around him.  He claims to see even more than his friend can; he can appreciate the complicated biological and physical functioning of the flower’s interior, which is impossible to be seen with the naked eye!  He even learned drawing so that he could express how he feels about the world and its beauties.  Although artists may find bliss in the creation and the appreciation of arts, students of science with some artistic sense can have great indulgence in various wonders of the world.  Feynman states that the scientific awe – which is understanding that everything, however sophisticated it may be on the outside, can be explained by the same rules of physics – is like realizing in religion that everything is so different and yet run by only one individual (God).

There are many wonderful things in this world.  Sadly enough, in the midst of our highly active lives, we are blinded from these special beauties we are endowed with.  Everybody needs to feel the splendour, and the more we can appreciate, the better for the outlet of our souls.  (This does not imply over-indulgence in the arts.)  If we are capable of finding beauty in the wee small things of our day-to-day lives, we wouldn’t need to plan in advance for a tour to a historic site or a natural wonderland but find satisfaction with the things we are already blessed with in our lives.  This would have a very profound effect on our lives; we would be happier than we are and we would be leading better lives.  If we are also capable of comprehending the sciences, a little scientific awe adds on to our aesthetic sense.  So, look around and find something beautiful … for the sake of enjoyment!

Three of Claude Monet's Waterlillies oil paintings

LEFT TO RIGHT: “Japanese bridge in Giverny”, “Coin du bassin aux nympheás” & “Seerosen” from Monet’s “Waterlillies (Nympheás)”

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