snow, snow! though now that it's stopped snowing the white is already fading fast again. i hope there'll be more over night; only to curse it again monday morning when i have to bike to university...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
this morning at 06:40 am, i had a beautiful dream. the reason i know this is that, though my alarm clock was set to 07:01 am, something dramatically pulled me out of said dream the very moment. and that obnoxious something was the sound of my doorbell.
before i proceed, let me elaborate a little on my doorbell. with intensity. my doorbell produces sound mechanically with, who'd have thought, a bell. imagine the sound in the middle between an old mechanical alarm clock and a mechanical kitchen timer, just much faster and much much louder. when i'm expecting a guest, i often sit at the piano to pass the last bits of time before that person shows up. then, when the person shows up and rings my doorbell, i usually die of a stroke, induced by the sound's brutality. some of my friends have even already stopped ringing and will knock instead, being familiar with my misery.
so: the ringing of my doorbell slashed my pleasant dreams apart in less than two nanoseconds. i have no concrete memory of the dream and the only thing i remembered and remember about it is the fact it was very pleasant. consequently, my first thought after my mind regained its ability to process information again was something along the lines of ASSHOLE. wrapped into my bathrobe, i stumbled over to the door.
upon opening it, i was greeted by a man in suit, carrying an important and very filled looking briefcase, with the words hello-i'm-from-your-disctrict-court.
HA! you might imagine me, slowly relocating my balance backwards, looking at him through my greasy eyes, with my arms crossed.
my reaction: yes?
him: i'm speaking to mr xyz [substitute random arabian last name], owner of the xyz [substitute random arabian name] firm?
him: [pointing to the number above my door] but this is door number three, isn't it?
me: yes. i live here since september 2006 [you might imagine how i surprised myself with the amazing ability to dig up this bit of information in my state at that moment]. i do, however, occasionally still receive mail for that firm.
him: oh. your valued name was?
at which i gave him my name, which he noted down, repeated the information i had given him, briefly apologised and went away. i myself went back to bed, which luckily had not gone cold yet.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
who'd have thought! enya released a new album.
every now and then, i search the net for artists i like but don't read about often; among them enya. the other day, upon starting itunes, i saw an advertisement of enya's new album and winter came. and right now, i must say it fits perfectly to the temps just recently finally falling down somewhat and fitting more to the christmas decoration appearing everywhere.
it is mid november, autumn seems to be slowly turning to winter, the year nearing its close. in a video about her new album, enya elaborates about the motifs therein, the process of turning inwards in winter. and that is exactly how i feel right now. time has come again to draw away from the outside and surface a little, to reflect.
surprisingly, enya incorporated some new musical elements into this latest album. among them even [brace!, brace!] e-guitars in one song. who'd have thought? but the general consensus of the album is absolutely enya again; for good and for bad. beautiful voicing, melodies that enable instant pleasant daydreaming. but why oh why does she never ever abandon her old and typical midi sound? why always pizzicato strings that sound just like on her first album, watermark, twenty years ago? apart from the few new elements and inspirations that go into each new album, she seems to constantly keep using the same [rather small] bank of instruments, most of which really belong to the quite general category of the general midi sounds.
of course, this is where much of her typical style comes from; but other artists show that you can actually keep your style while progressing to different instruments, or just gradually updating them and introducing new ones. so sometimes, when i listen to her new songs, i feel an urge to take the raw arrangement of it and just replace some of the traditional enya midi instruments with new sounds, new instrument recordings. but oh well, if she really did work on this for two years, as she said, then there is no way she just keeps using those old instruments out of lack of time [and certainly not out of a shortage in money].
all in all, and winter came delivers what it promises. an enya album, sounding like enya, about a different subject. and listening to it, i absolutely experience the effect it is meant to have: i get all christmassy.
lately, i was busy making plans to move together into a beautiful flat with 2 friends of mine, which we finally decided not to do. so even in the worldly sense, i busy myself again with accommodating myself in my current flat again, making it the most comfortable refuge i have, for the moment, one more time.
summer always happens so fast, and rushes by so quickly. many things happen, and many things did take place in this year's summer. but only afterwards, in autumn and winter, we can and do take the time to reflect upon them, to look back from a little distance and cherish the true value of what happened.
i welcome the winter spirit.
on other notes, i recently read sony stated they're not even halfway where they want to be with the ps3. that, of course, leaves room to a large degree of speculation. what do they imply? the ps3 having much more functions than now; it being bugfree; significantly more high quality games; more prestige? obviously, the speculation goes on an on, but is basically limited to software realms since, yeah, that is how it is.
in another article i read the same day, the author was musing about sony trying to imitate apple in having must have gadgets and, you know, generally being the sleekest stylish brand...blabla. what struck me, when i read that article while listening to music on my ipod touch, was simple: sony needs an appstore for the ps3. all claims about how technically superior and flexible the console is means nothing as long as we don't have a vast variety of functions waiting to be used.
implementing new functionality into the ps3 operating system with every firmware update is wonderful, and even the majority of other applications sony offers [mostly free of charge] like life with playstation are a welcome addition, but somehow it all just feels too little. just imagine the vastness of creation that would ensue if the ps3 actually had an appstore people could apply and develop for. like apple's iphone/ipodtouch appstore, it'd give you everything from tiny widgets to full grown programs, ranging from entertainment over information to even music creation.
the recent rumble about little big planet and the joys of being able to create your own game in this game with an unparalleled vastness of creative options shows how much the community as a whole longs for the ability to create.
so i say give the users an appstore integrate into our psn store. release sdks for development, not to make our own ps3 games [go on keeping the rsx locked, if it pleases you] but to create functionality and entertainment. it'd be relief for sony from the stress of having to churn out all innovations by themselves, having to please every user's wish on their own. and give us shiny tiny icons of stylish [useless] applications...
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
time seems like a train without exits sometimes. there are windows from which i can get a quick glance of the things whipping by, but hardly a way to get there. however, as you see now, i've taken a bit of time to write a bit about these days.
after so much of holidays over the summer, coming back to university seems like stepping into a completely different life; and different self. suddenly, all the things you occupied yourself with during the holidays break off, are withdrawn into the background, as the universitary workload kicks in.
weeks suddenly seem so long, so full of things. every friday, looking back i feel like a whole semester passed. often in the evening, i find myself thinking about events i suppose happened the day before or even further back, while they actually took place on that same day, which just seemed like two days to me because of it being so filled with things.
in all honesty, i've overburdened myself a little; but now there is no turning back. and at the same time, out of some masochistic motivation, i'm eager to see how much i can take. how many languages can you learn at the same time? how much learning can you take in one week? how much do you minimize your private life?
of course, there are still other things. there are still islands of bliss with sweetlove, when he visits here or i visit him in budi. there are also little videos i'm still working on, cgi projects, music. but all those things i do on weekends, when i shell out some time from the preparation for an upcoming week to relax and recover a bit. make no mistake though; i've chosen this lifestyle, and i'm highly motivated to carry out my plans.
edit: i forgot something i wanted to write about. namely the fascinating sideffects of my workload. as my brain seems busy rearranging and making new structures for the memorisation of another language, my forgetfulness is increasing. there is only so much a brain can take, i suppose. but obviously my lifestyle very easily allows memory leaks in fields i'm not looking at for a few moments.
on the subject of videos: does anyone know a decent free video editing software he or she can recommend? microsoft's video editor is almost paint for moving pictures.