Sunday, October 27, 2013

Life in jail horrible: Aussie activist

Shouldn't have decided that it would be a good idea to protest against a Russian oil rig then, stupid woman. I do dearly hope that you get the 7 years, and that Russia goes ahead with drilling anyway. A nice hard smack of reality would do you, and those like you, some good.

I mean, the logic here is pretty much, "I break the law, and I expect to get away with it". If someone scaled the Greenpeace Sydney headquarters and unfurled a banner with "No Greenpeace" on it, I'm pretty sure the Greenpeace folk there would call the police and complain about it. And yet they expect to get away with similar actions elsewhere. Double standards, double standards everywhere.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We're all just square pegs in round holes.

It's amazing how you can think you know exactly what a person is like, can interact with them on a regular basis for years on end, only for one single event to cascade into the beautiful realisation that there's so much more to them than you originally thought.

Maybe sometimes it's just because you aren't ready for it. Maybe some things are meant to be hidden until their due time. Still, I've known Wen for something like three and a half years, or at least known of her existence, but the past month has made me realise that I really didn't know her very well at all. And there's times where I regret not noticing or realising or doing something sooner, at least just talking to her. But she's right when she says that I wasn't ready for all this before. Certainly before this year, at the very least.

She's absolutely amazing. I honestly don't know why me, of all people. But I'm very glad, and very thankful, and extremely happy that it is actually me. I'm constantly fascinated by what she does and her interests and her life. And at the same time, I'm learning things about myself that I never even knew before.

One month tomorrow. I guess it's still early days yet but...I'm really happy with how my life is right now.

Even if I haven't finished all my assessments yet.

Even if I didn't make it in to the ADF.

Actually, not getting in to the ADF means I'll be taking an Honours year next year in Politics. I'm actually pretty excited at the thought of writing 15,000-18,000 words on a topic of my choice. Still need to find a Politics staff member willing to supervise me and I need to flesh out my thesis topic with them.

PAX Australia date for next year has been announced. Keen to attend.

I am blessed with the very best of friends.

I play way too much Dota 2 for my own good.

I don't see my Melbourne Uni friends as often as I should.

Exams are coming, and that means I need to start thinking of songs to parody.

Who even reads this thing any more?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Life is a rush that passes us by

I literally do not have enough time for all my homework and assignments to be posting on here. But I'm here anyway. Fuck logic.

Was browsing Reddit the other day reading a thread about what guys should and shouldn't do on a first date, and a comment about how all guys have a little bit of ADD so we should avoid facing distractions or activity when picking a seat really stuck with me. The more I thought about it, the more I found that I could apply it to a whole range of things. So bear with me while I ramble.

All guys are a little ADD. Our eyes, and attention, are drawn by movement. It's why we find it difficult to be passive in peaceful environments. It's why we, as a gender, tend to enjoy chaotic visual stimulation, like watching sports, or playing video games. It's why we can sit in a crowded area and feel like we're involved and taking part even if we're not doing anything. Motion satisfies us, and if there's no motion then we'll make our own.

An unfinished thought. But I should really start work on that essay...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A higher calling

"You bring them in, and you say, "ladies and gentlemen, you belong to the single greatest profession on the face of the Earth. This is the profession which makes all others possible. You are the ones who will man the ramparts, you are the ones who will make possible music, opera, all the things we associate with our civilised society. You make possible the footy that takes place on the Saturdays, and the cricket, and the parties which take place. You are the sentinels of democracy.""

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why climate change activism is humanocentric

A few weeks ago, I posted a question asking why it was important that humans continue to survive. A few days ago, I was talking to a few friends on public transport and a thought arose that made itself into the title of this post; namely, that climate change activism is a humanocentric activity.

Think about it: who benefits the most if we manage to successfully mitigate the effects of climate change? Humans do. We retain our primacy as the supreme species on the planet. If we aren't successful, then billions die and, in a worst case scenario, we get thrown back to some sort of pre-Industrial level of civilisation. Certainly, we would lose our ability to influence the environment as much as we do currently.

Climate change activists may argue that they are attempting to save the environment, to save Life in its entirety. But Earth has experienced temperatures far higher than anything being predicted, and Life has still survived. In the last 540 million years, five major extinction events have occurred, one of which, the Permian-Triassic extinction event 251 million years ago, wiped out 90-96% of all species then present. And yet the sheer diversity of Life present today still persisted through it all. And Life will persist through any catastrophic climate change event as well. Humans, probably not as likely. But we're just one species, of one family. In the greater scheme of things, we aren't the most numerous nor the most widespread of species on this planet, so does it really matter if we make it or not?

I mean, if humans are so bad for the environment and all that, wouldn't it actually be better if we all died, thereby saving the planet from our evil artificial corrupting influence?

Of course, climate change activists wouldn't agree with what I've said. They can't admit that they're just as afraid of dying as the rest of us. At least the rest of us don't have to put up a fa├žade about the environment to justify it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Twelve years

It has been twelve years since the day the world changed. Twelve years worth of children growing up knowing fear, and war, and the scourge of terror. Twelve years worth of children who were not alive to see the fateful day when civilian aircraft became weapons of war. Of all the people on Earth, I envy and pity these children the most, that they never experienced life void of a world in which terrorism and conflict play such a casual role.

A dozen years since a younger me watched the live news coverage of planes flying into buildings, of people who preferred to fall to their deaths than be burned alive, of the unleashed fury of a nation and a peoples united in their grief. A younger me was prematurely thrust to the precipice of of adulthood, was reminded of the bonds of kinship that unite the world. On that day, I felt like an American. On that day, I felt like a citizen of this planet.

I have had the honour of visiting the 9-11 memorial in New York City. It is a quiet, sombre place - no towering monuments, no gold or glitter. Two pools of remembrance, gouged out of the very flesh of New York like a scar that will never quite heal. 2,958 innocent people plucked from our midst, but not from our memory. Innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives. Firefighters, police, first responders who charged up the stairs no less valiantly than the men at Lexington and Concord, or Gettysburg, or on the beaches of Normandy. We are all the poorer that they have been taken before their time.

In this year, in the twelfth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, we conclude our military involvement in the Middle East. As we step into the unknown future, may it always be with an eye and a thought towards the events of the past that have led to our present.

Lest We Forget.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Arguing with Greenies

Had an interesting thought whilst arguing with some Greenpeace supporters on the Greenpeace International Facebook page today.

"even the worst predictions of global warming won't lead to conditions that remove life from Earth. Life, on Earth, is amazingly resilient. We've found bacteria that grow in boiling sulphur pools. We've found bacteria that can survive temperatures over 120 degrees Celsius. We've found bacteria that can survive exposure to the vacuum of space, bacteria that can feed off radiation in the cooling towers of nuclear plants, bacteria that can process basic elements no other lifeform on Earth can, and survive. Even if humans manage to kill ourselves and any other large vertebrate animal, life will find a way to survive. On a genetic level, does it really matter what form that life takes? Does it change, in one iota, if it's humans that inherit the Earth, or Escherichia coli? I mean, humans aren't the most populous species on the planet, either in terms of mass or number. And, if we're apparently the cause of all of the world's problems, wouldn't it make more sense to just do away with humankind completely, and leave Nature free to propagate without our influence? In your imagination, does your ideal Earth have humans on it?"

Saturday, August 3, 2013

For Rita With Love, by Pat Ingoldsby

You came home from school
on a special bus
full of people
who look like you
and love like you
and you met me
for the first time
and you loved me.
You love everybody
so much that it's not safe
to let you out alone.
Eleven years of love
and trust and time for you to learn
that you can't go on loving like this.
Unless you are stopped
you will embrace every person you see.
Normal people don't do that.
Some Normal people will hurt you
very badly because you do.
Cripples don't look nice
but you embrace them.
You kissed a wino on the bus
and he broke down and cried
and he said 'Nobody has kissed me
for the last 30 years.
But you did.
You touched my face
with your fingers and said
'I like you.'
The world will never
be ready for you.
Your way is right
and the world will never be ready. 
We could learn everything
that we need to know
by watching you
going to your special school
in your special bus
full of people
who look like you
and love like you
and it's not safe
to let you out alone.
If you're not normal
there is very little hope
for the rest of us.

Friday, June 21, 2013

They slumber not

They slumber not in mortal view,
The bravest of the bravest, the truest of the true.
Respect and honour are their due,
Theirs that died, for me and you.

They slumber not with mortal riches,
In fields and forests and muddy ditches.
Their lives persist as if mental itches,
Clawing back from dusty pictures.

They slumber not lost from mortal thought,
Though their battles have long been fought.
We remember still their lessons taught,
That, with their lives, were dearly bought.

- Oliver Jiang, 2013

Lest We Forget.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time To Go

Time To Go
(Based on the lyrics of ‘Let Her Go’, by Passenger)

Well you only start to cry when your Moodle’s slow,
Only miss your high school when your lectures blow,
Only know you hate this when it’s time to go.

Only start to study when your grades are low,
Only hate the uni when you’re leaving home,
Only start your cramming when it’s time to go,
And it’s time to go.

Sitting at the back row of your class,
Hoping this time you'll focus at last,
But your grades start low and they drop so fast.

You “study” when you close your eyes,
When you fail you try to act surprised,
But in actual fact, it’s all just lies.

But you only check tonight which seat and which row,
Only want to finish and then go to the snow,
Only know you hate this when it’s time to go.

Only go and study what you right now know,
Only hate your brain cells when they just won’t grow,
Only start your cramming when it’s time to go.

Staring at the ceiling in the dark,
Same old empty feeling in your heart,
'Cause your brain’s so slow and set in park.

Well you “study” when you fall asleep,
But never to know and never to keep,
'Cause you procrastinated too much,
And now you reap.

Well you only say you’re tired but you’re hiding your woe,
Only know your name but you’re acting gung ho,
Only know you hate this when it’s time to go.

Only start to study when your grades plateau,
Only start to worry when you’re at 50 or so,
Only start your cramming when it’s time to go.

And it’s time to go.
And it’s time to go.
Well it’s time to go.

‘Cause you know only it’s SWOTVAC when the beards start to grow,
Only know you’re Asian when you’ve just got a mo’,
Only know you hate this when it’s time to go.

Only start to study when there’s no HBO,
Only close the TV when you finish this show,
Only start your cramming when it’s time to go.

‘Cause you wanna leave early but the clock’s going so slow,
Only know you’re screwed when your pen doesn’t flow,
Only know you hate this when it’s time to go.

Only start to regret not going to Prato,
Only try to revise stuff from long ago,
Only start your cramming when it’s time to go.

And it’s time to go.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to make friends: a guide for university students

Disclaimer: everything in this post refers to Arts or Science degrees only, or any other broad degree. Small cohorts like Medicine will obviously be different. Also, this is only based on my own personal experience, so any naysayers can go piss up a rope.

The first thing you need to know is that the overwhelming majority of people you meet through class, you will never see again. That's just how these degrees work; in any first or second year unit, you can have a mixture of people at anywhere from the first to the fourth year (or higher!) of their degree. And since many units count towards multiple majors, minors or sequences, many times you and the person sitting next to you are on very different pathways. Given this chaotic nature, classroom friendships are difficult to maintain unless anchored in some external source of unity. That isn't to say don't try and make friends in your classes; at the very least, it'll make each semester less boring. But don't rely on it as a reliable way of making long-lasting friendships.

By and large, the majority of your university friends will either be people you knew before university (high school, tutoring, language school etc.), or extensions of existing friendship groups (friend of a friend, mate's cousin, so on and so forth). It is easier to expand than to create anew, and pre-existing friendship networks and frameworks provide a firm foundation off which new friendships can sprout. Being actively engaged in your social life will be of immense help here; go to parties, go to birthdays, go for dinner, go to the pub, get out there.

The other source of new friendships, depending on how involved you become, is cocurricular or extra involvement, like clubs, societies and student organisations, or going on exchange. Shared experiences in an alien environment provides a focal point around which much social interaction is able to coalesce, and provides the impetus for ongoing communication, the basis of any successful friendship. Prolonged involvement also provides the opportunity for interaction with a fresh intake of students on an annual basis. This relies on you being proactive in seeking out new people and following up on any interactions.

The thing is, university gives you the freedom to pursue friendships with people who genuinely share common interests with you, rather than simply making the best of a random assortment of individuals as in high school. It also lets you be yourself without having to put on a facade to please those around you. Love to make stuff up and brag about it? You'll find friends. Hate humanity in general and dislike social interaction? You'll find friends too (though why you would want to is beyond me...). It's an important phase of self-discovery and an integral part of that is getting out there and seeing what other people are like, and using that to shape your own development.

Of course, there's nothing that says that you have to make new friends when you're in university. Indeed, some people might leave university with fewer friends than when they went in. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as it was the intention of that person to do so. Regardless of the human need for some sort of external contact, university is very much what you make of it, and if you want to make it a lonely, desolate, work-focused experience, then that is your right in this democracy.

The other thing to remember is, no matter how friendly or likeable or open-minded you are, there are going to be people that you meet who you simply won't get along with - whether it's them not liking you, or you not liking them, the end result is the same. Every situation will be unique but in general, don't bother trying to patch things up with the other party. Rare is the relationship that goes from enemies to friends, no matter what Hollywood might attempt to tell you.

By the time you get to the later years of your degree (penultimate or final), you might find trying to make new friends a taxing and thankless chore, because, to be frank, you really won't give a fuck anymore. Chances are you'll already have your own friends, your only desire is to complete your degree, and there's no common interest you share with younger students. If that's the case, don't bother. It'll be clear as day to the other person that you don't really want to be there, so forcefully prolonging the contact just makes it awkward and disrespectful. Focus on what you want to get out of your few remaining years at university and prioritise those goals. That being said, it's not impossible that you'll make new friends. Don't be too rash to dismiss possibilities.

If you've got exams coming up, good luck. Study hard. I might have a parody or two posted here and on Stalkerspace in the coming weeks. Maybe I'll update, maybe I won't. Ramble ramble ramble.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Delicious cheesy goodness

Was walking through Coles today doing our usual weekly grocery run, went down the Spreads aisle. You know what I miss? iSnack 2.0. I know it's still being sold under some new name, but damn I loved it before it was changed. iSnack 2.0. Even the thought of it sends me into hysterics. It's also about the only way I'd ever consider eating a cheese spread. I miss you, iSnack 2.0.

My headset microphone doesn't work on this laptop. Poop.

Had Chicken Tonight for dinner. The ingredients don't call for greens but I added in beans, broccoli and some mushrooms. Tasted pretty good.

Dad's 52nd was last night. We walked around Crown for ages trying to find a restaurant, since we were stupid and didn't book in advance. Ended up eating at a decent Japanese place in Southbank called Miyako. Between the three of us, we had a sashimi platter (good variety), one serving of salmon sushi, a seaweed salad, one bottle of Asahi, one serving of lamb (it was beautifuly cooked, nice and rare, an absolute treat. Loin of Lamb, it was called on the menu), sukiyaki for two (my dad, an avowed sukiyaki expert, thoroughly approved of their preparation, method, and taste), and one bowl of rice. All that came to a grand total of...$191.50. 20% discount because they're running a promotion until June 14th, so it came down to around $155, but it was still surprisingly expensive. Definitely one of the better dining out experiences I've had in a while, marred only by a group of four elderly diners who walked out in disgust after claiming that they had been cheated on their bill. Apparently, from what I could make out from one elderly gentleman's rambling, they had a voucher which they wanted to use for both couples, despite attempting to pay separately. The restaurant refused, stating that the voucher clearly applied only to one transaction. As they left, they insulted everything from the food to the staff to the prices. Nothing in my experience justified any of their criticism, and indeed I would say that they were the worst part of that restaurant.

I want to read Game of Thrones, but one of my friends says I should watch the TV series first. Any thoughts or opinions either way?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Food and cooking

Alright, so if anyone still reads this thing, you'll notice that the sidebar on the left linking a whole bunch of other blogs indicates that almost nobody I know writes with any regularity anymore.


A few days ago, my post about jaffys and feeling old recieved a new comment. A NEW COMMENT.

C.H. from actually has an incredibly insightful blog delving into issues regarding racism, bullying, relationships, as well as a few crazy videos here and there. Check it out if you have the time, it's well worth the read :) (any BHS/MHS/Melb Uni folks out there, she's Alice's cousin! Crazeh small world.)

Anyway so the latest post from C.H. is about her cravings for Western food, which is interesting considering I've been cooking my own meals for the past two months and it's almost entirely been Western-style stuff (or at least Asian food for Western palates).

"There should come a certain point in your life when you put your chopsticks down and go: "No, I cannot take any more bowls of plain white rice, bok choi and sweet and sour pork.  Give me pasta, lasagne, pizza, steak, chips, gravy, mashed potatoes and pavolova okay not really that last one."" - C.H.

But the reason I have been cooking lamb chops and beef rump and burgers and lasagna and carbonara and mini-pizzas and stirfry for white people (it comes out of a packet?! Wtf?) is mostly to satisfy my younger sister, who's less than enthusiastic about the Asian food that my mum cooks. Any opportunity for something different, she'll grab it with both hands.

Bit of background about me, I'm the eldest in my generation on both sides of my family, and my parents were pretty strict in my Asian upbringing. Maybe it's that, but I consider my sister's rejection of my mum's cooking almost unfilial in a sense, as well as being a rejection of an integral part of her culture. Whether she likes it or not, she IS Australian-Chinese. Now, I'm not saying that that alone is sufficient reason to actively enjoy Asian food, but it should at least be enough that you don't complain about it.

The thing is, though, I've never felt as strongly about food as some other people do. My idea of "good food" and "food I like" are synonymous with "food I will eat". Anything that I don't dislike eating, I will eat, and I will consider it good food. My food tastes don't so much sit on a gradient as they do on a dividing line between food that sucks (eggplant, asparagus) and food that's great (just about everything else that we eat here in Australia). I'll just as happily tuck in to a packet of instant noodles as I would a Big Mac from Maccas, or a $50 steak in the city. Food is food, and as long as I'm willing to eat it, that's good enough for me.

I mean, hell, I ate sandwiches for lunch for a solid 13 years, from prep right through to Year 12. My mum, who made the sandwiches, complained about it more than I did. "Don't you ever get sick of sandwiches?" she'd ask. Sometimes she'd pack a meat pie or something for me instead, but never by my request. I was content eating the same thing, day in, day out, for over a decade. Food, after all, isn't all that important in the bigger scheme of things. As long as I'm getting the sustenance that I need with a relatively acceptable taste, I don't really mind what form that sustenance takes. It's a tool to make sure you can keep going, but it pales in comparison to things like the Federal Budget, or religion in US politics.

So despite this three month hiatus from Asian food, when mum gets back I'll fully embrace her Asian cooking. After all, nobody's cooking tastes quite like mum's.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Anger, excitement and updates

I hate #yolo. Seriously. Every time I read it or hear it, I immediately set down the path towards uncontrollable rage. It is the very antithesis to my life philosophy (if you can call my insane ramblings that). Yolo, to me, is a call to arms of the stupid misinformed overcommercialised youth of today's Western world. It is a cry for imbeciles to perform acts of idiocy that may or may not get themselves killed. It basks in the idea that we should because we can, that living once is justification for any and all manner of action. It's a shallow philosophy that encourages impressionable kids to ignore the consequences, and teaches them to be satisfied with "well, why not?" as a reason why.

Three weeks until my family and I fly to the US for a two week trip around LA, DC and NY. This'll be my first time going to the US, so I'm suitably excited about it all. Got all my touristy things lined and ready to go; Disneyland in Anaheim, Hollywood in LA, Capitol Hill in DC, Statue of Liberty (amongst others) in NY. Had a nightmare a few days ago that I'd gotten to the airport and forgotten to bring my camera...woke up in a cold sweat. DEFINITELY going to bring my camera. Didn't take it to Vietnam at the start of this year and regretted it immensely.

Mum's been on work assignment in the US now for just on two months, which means my sister and I have been living at home alone for two months. It's gone well; we cook, we clean, pay the bills, and get our school stuff done. My weekly schedule pretty much revolves around uni and getting her to wherever she needs to be. Netball training on Tuesdays, tutor on Fridays, netball games on Saturdays, Chinese school on Sundays. I've enjoyed it, especially the cooking. Haven't burnt anything yet, and we've eaten, if not good, at least well-balanced and nutritious.

Exams coming soon: 2nd year Genetics on the 14th, then 3rd year Genetics and 3rd year Politics on the 25th and the 28th (I can't remember which one goes on which day).

I've killed my fourth laptop in nine years. The Lenovo ThinkPad I got from Dad a year and a half ago had a Chinese copy of Windows, so I tried to install English. Now, there's some security thing that won't let me log in, and safe mode causes BSODs. Fun. Reduced to using my sister's eight-year-old Toshiba that runs about as fast as glaciers melt. Good news though, I'll be purchasing a new laptop when I get to America.One more month, that's all I need to survive...

Exam time means StalkerSpace songs/parodies. Pressure's on. Hopefully I've got something decent lined up...we'll see come next week.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Youthful envy

This year is the final year of my Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree. Final changes your perspective a lot, how you view the future, how you view the present, how you view the past. It wasn't really something I knew or heard about until I finally got here myself, but I could put that down to not actually knowing all that many people who've been in their final year. Why is this final year so different to, say, the final year of high school? Because, with any luck, this is the cusp of the greatest change in my life since I first started formal schooling back in 1996. If all goes well, then this year marks the transition from 13 years of full-time schooling to full-time employment. The completion of the first third of my life. The leap into the great unknown.

The future
When you're young, you're so certain of everything. Every child says to themselves that they'll grow up, get a job, get married, have a family. When you're older, the only thing that you're certain of anymore is that you'll get older. Getting a job? You hear about how the market is so competitive, how there are so many graduates going for the same few positions. You see your friends who have graduated studying further because they can't find meaningful employment. And you question your own capability to be different, to be one of the lucky few who gains employment in the field that they want. Getting married? You see the breakups and recriminations, the hope and the despair, and you wonder if you'll ever get that far. Having a family? You don't even know if you can look after yourself out there, let alone having other people depend on you to make all the decisions, to nurture them as they follow in your footsteps. Nothing is certain anymore, only that time, unrelentingly, flows onwards, that the amount of time you have left to do anything is always diminishing.

The past
So many regrets, so many wasted opportunities, so many mistakes. I should have gotten more involved in this, I should have put more effort into that, I should not have done what I did then, this is what I should have done instead. Oh God I was such a fool, an idiot, a wastrel, a sloth, a procrastinator, too caught up in the moment to plan for the future.

The present
So what can I do now to rectify the mistakes of the past? How can I go about achieving the goals of my future? What can I do this year, this month, this week, this day, this hour, to go about getting somewhere, anywhere? And how can I communicate this depth of feeling to those younger than I, those who are entering university for the first time and making the same mistakes of unpreparedness that I made?

I think the root for why I am so unwelcoming of first years, of jaffys as they're so colourfully known, is because of this. Because I am so envious of the certainty of their youth, because of the firmness of their rejection of what I try to tell them, having the luxury of being able to write it off as the dellusioned ramblings of a bitter old man. A man, heh. Barely three or four years older than most of these newbies. I am jealous that I, for better or for worse, can no longer be one of them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our Dead

A short poem I wrote for one of my gaming things. o/ Pacifica

Our dead lie where they cannot be seen,
As if the steps they took had never been.
The mark they made is viewed not by eyes,
The mark they made is where our heart lies.
The bravest of the brave, the truest of the true,
They gave their lives for me and you.
And as they fell, memories past they did relive,
But still uttered, "if I had one more life to give".
Face down they fell, and they fell head first,
Still in death, at the enemy they cursed.
We who still live, we all do know,
That though they're lost like summer snow,
Our comrades of those battles past,
Will be with us when we breathe our last.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Post 1/13

Well, I haven't updated this blog in...something like three or four months. But hey, I still get the email notifications of spammers posting comments on posts, so it's not like I've forgotten about it. What's new? Hmm. Well, it's 2013. Hopefully, my final year of university (assuming I don't fail anything). Let's take a look back at the past few months.

I couldn't think of anything worth writing about, so I'm just going to talk about Christmas. Went with family and a few other families out to Lakes Entrance for four days. Crabfishing, fishing, played some beach cricket. It was fun, haven't done anything like that in a while.

Oh, also, I got my P's. Green ones, since I turned 21 before I got them. Dad bought a car and since he isn't here for most of the year, I get to drive it. It's a Volkswagen Tiguan Pacific, pretty sweet, but I can't drive the damn thing yet because it's turbo so I need to apply for an exemption from VicRoads. Sent it in already but it'll take three weeks to get a response.

And in three week's time (or, well, two weeks now, since I sent it last Friday), I'll be somewhere in Vietnam. Flying up on the 14th with mum and sis for two weeks, first time heading over there so it should be an experience. Tossing up whether I should take my camera or not, apparently petty thievery is a common occurance, especially targeted against tourists, but I'd probably regret not taking it once I get over there.

Oh, my harddrive died a while ago, and along with it was two and a half years worth of photos. Something like 20,000 photos from various events and countries. Would have cost over two thousand dollars to retrieve the data though, and that's simply money I don't have. Most of the decent photos are uploaded to Facebook anyway, so it's not like I'm missing anything especially. All my music and all my past classwork/homework/assignments/projects crap from three years of uni is on there too, which is actually more of a loss than the  photos. Also movies and games, but those are pretty expendable.

Steam sales, probably spent like $60-70 in about a two week period, picking up some pretty good deals. AOE3 complete, Dawn of War pack courtesy of Hungy, got the THQ Humble Bundle, picked up Red Orchestra 2, and Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai. All in all, I've probably spent well over $200 on my entire Steam collection, which...isn't that much, considering I've spent about 1400 hours on various Steam games. That's literally a solid two months straight of gaming over the past three years. Holy crap, that means I've spent like 6% of the past three years gaming. Minimum, considering the games I play which aren't on Steam. Probably more like 10%. That's pretty damn impressive. And sad, very sad.

So what's the plan for this year? Study hard, get decent marks, graduate. Need to start looking for graduate programs and internships and jobs. Got a few sites bookmarked but they don't open till February/March, so I've got a little bit of time yet. If I'm allowed by the university to take a lower sequence of Chinese (long story), I'll be doing a Diploma of Languages on top of my Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science, which means five units a semester instead of the usual four. That being said, I've got a second-year Genetics unit first semester and a first-year Biology unit second semester, and a lower level sequence of Chinese would be fairly straightforward, so the year wouldn't be that bad despite the fact that I would be overloading. On the other hand, if I can't take the lower level sequence then I won't do the Diploma, which means three units a semester. On top of the one first-year and one second-year sequence, and that would be an incredibly breezy year.

I need to start looking for jobs. Preferably retail, preferably flexible hours. Looking at EB Games, Coles, Safeway, Big W, that kind of stuff. I'm terrible at customer interaction though so I'd prefer something like those guys that work after the store is closed to get the shelves all ready. EB would be easy though, since I'd know what I'm selling pretty damn well. Actually, I'm not too bad at telling people where stuff is, I might be able to do alright. Coles never has any openings though (took two years for Box Hill to have anything), and Safeway/Big W I've never recieved anything after signing up at their website. Eh.

I'm pretty healthy, I guess. Somewhat. Maybe. Not really. I need to do more start exercising.

My laptop is an absolute piece of shit. On a hot day, it'll overheat if I'm just running Firefox and Skype. Need a new laptop/computer. Probably a computer, it'll handle the punishment mistreatment strain better.

Went clubbing for the first time in Melbourne. Shanghai was better. And Hungy lost my sunglasses :(

My sleeping pattern is all screwed up.

Welcome to 2013, y'all.