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I’m wondering if it’s hypocritical of me to yearn for braces, yet disapprove of plastic surgery. Where does the line for beautification stop? Is it that I approve of braces because it’s only ‘natural’ (as mother nature intended, but obviously a screw-up happened somehow for some with unlucky genes) that a smile is straight, thus making braces an evolutionary necessity? Is it because crooked teeth are so ghastly that it entirely warrants the alteration of one’s appearance? Or is it that practically EVERYBODY with crooked teeth (I mean severely crooked teeth here, not teeth that are near-perfect that aren’t perfectly aligned) will get braces to correct this problem? So that would make me a conformist? But I know I’m not. No, perhaps it is precisely because everybody has normal teeth, that I don’t want to stand out with a grotesquely deformed smile.

What about plastic surgery? Considering I am against this procedure (unless a person was deformed in an accident), but how is it different to the straightening of teeth? Both is changing the natural appearance of a person. Maybe it’s because a relatively straight smile is just a person’s right, every person should be entitled to an un-malformed smile; it’s when you’re expressing your happiness, how can you feel ugly when you express your happiness?! But plastic surgery…is different because, to be honest, no person on this earth has a ‘deformed’ face (excluding those with inborn or external accidents), and so in essence, everybody has a ‘beautiful’ face, thus making plastic surgery an unnecessary aesthetic improvement. I guess if you view it in terms of severity, it justifies braces but it doesn’t for cosmetic surgery; many people have ‘deformed’ teeth, so many people get it fixed, it doesn’t make them conformists that it just so happens to be a common problem among the human race. However, I get quite irked when others with near-perfect teeth are nitpicking and complain of their ‘crooked teeth’. Those who have just slightly bent teeth that is hardly noticeable would have little grounds to get braces.

On the other hand, it is extremely rare for people to have a ‘deformed’ face, and naturally they want to fix up this abnormality, a completely natural desire, but those who don’t have a ‘deformed’ face but just want to make themselves the ‘ideal’ is doing so for vanity. It can also be said that braces do have some functionality as well, like making chewing and cleaning easier, but that’s not so for the purely aesthetic cosmetic surgery.

Maybe I’m just trying to rationalise my hypocrisy. Maybe. or maybe not…

Either way, even though people strive to be the face of ‘perfection’ in their own vanity, I guess it is their right, and I accept it. You could even say that part of my criticism lies in the possibility that I am actually subconsciously jealous: jealous that these people are going to be more attractive than they really are just because of some operation they had. But I have not been through what they have been through, so I can’t judge them.

What about transexuals? I don’t frown upon it, although I do admit I find it rather bizarre. I guess they can’t help their feelings, and in this case, plastic surgery is more about fulfilling a sense of identity rather than narcissism.

All things aside, I know I want to get braces. And today, I finally got them. My mouth is full of metal: it’s painful, it’s uncomfortable and distracting, it sucks the joy out of eating, it makes ugly teeth even more conspicuous and ugly, it has made oral hygiene 10x more tedious, it traps bits of food in every imaginable nook and cranny that refuses to dislodge even with rigorous rinsing, it impedes speech, but boy am I very happy. 😀 For 10 years (approximately) ever since my teeth started overcrowding, I’ve been longing for it intensely, ever so self-conscious and ashamed whenever I smiled or laughed. And while most people were lucky and got it in their younger years, my patience paid off, and I am finally on my way to a more beautiful smile.

And the heart,
Stretches far across the expanse of the sky.

Leaves on a tree,
May touch and flock together,
Shielding one another from bitter winds,
And rest in serene unity in still air.

Yet each one has its own unique beauty,
That belongs to the leaf, solely.

Troubles, like the turbulent river,
Tumble over the rocks,
Continuing on their everlasting journey.

Sunsets,
Harbingers of the end they are not,
But the start of something great and new.

There is a part of me aching to go to a university steeped in history, prestige and acclaim. I want to be part of that culture, perhaps so that I can feel like an elitist snob. 😀
I seem to notice there being a superiority complex in UQ. The group on Facebook titled “I GO TO UQ THEREFORE I AM BETTER THAN YOU”  is just one example. While I praise the creators for being able to spell ‘than’, using capitals for emphasis, and the very discerning use of the word ‘therefore’, such feelings of superiority toward other universities are quite unhealthy. It also seems there isn’t this problem in other Australian states; there isn’t a “I go to UniSyd therefore I am better than you” group, and from what I remember from my conversations with people there, it appears Sydneysiders respect those who attend UTS, Macquarie or the like. Or in South Australia, I seem to sense there’s an equal ranking between students of the more eminent University of Adelaide, and other institutions like Flinders or Uni of South Australia. I have, however, noticed that an aggressive elitism is also shared between Melbourne Uni and Monash, with the former constantly belittling the latter much like UQ students do to other unis. Must be the stupid Queenslanders and Victorians! I must say I am making a huge generalisation here, and apologise to many of those who do attend the universities and hasn’t fallen prey to the aforementioned pompous attitudes.

I have to admit, part of my reason to want to go into Speech Pathology back then was because I had a chance to go to UQ, a prestigious, sandstone university, no longer taunted (self, psychologically) with the inferiority associated with attending a non-sandstone university, a chance to reunite with my old high school friends, a chance to mingle with high-class, intelligent people.

No, I had to fight all those desires, and tell myself I TRULY wanted to be a dietitian, and not to be blinded by an elevation in ‘university superiority status’ or ‘social popularity’.

But it took a fair bit to fight such desires. It seemed like fate had conspired for me to stay in Brisbane, to stay in QUT. Why do I say that? When I felt desperate to leave QUT, to stop such feelings of inferiority, I was looking for alternatives. First it was thinking of any possible subjects I could do at UQ, and Speech Pathology seemed a plausible option. Yes, I think my desire to leave QUT even clouded me into thinking that I could accept being a speechie. My heart kept pulling me toward Nutrition and Dietetics, I could feel it, but I kept pulling it back because I knew I’d have to stay at QUT and because my mathematics (needed for chemistry) skills aren’t so good. In the end, I listened to my heart.

So after I decided I wanted to be a dietitian, I was still yearning to attend a ‘sandstone uni’. I looked interstate, desperately hoping I’d have a chance.

Victoria: Monash: “Non-school leavers: An applicant’s entire academic record will be taken into account and short-listed applicants will be required for interview in early December 2008. Entry is competitive.” Considering I didn’t do well in my first semester of university, I think it was plain obvious that Monash didn’t welcome me.
ACT: University of Canberra: has a Master of Dietetics, but that would mean I’d have to study for an extra year and also a slight chance I wouldn’t be able to get in.
SA: University of Flinders: considering its prestige is about the equivalent of QUT, I didn’t see why I should move so far away, to a place I never really liked living in (I lived there for 1.5 years).
NSW: University of Sydney: this seemed like the absolute perfect option! Not only could I continue the legacy of my parents’ attendance of Australia’s oldest university, I could actually live in a big city, oh I like Sydney!! My grandma lives there and I could live in her apartment! Yay! Perfect right? Wrong. The Nutrition and Dietetics course is actually just a major in the Bachelor of science, along with all the mathematics that goes with it. It’s even more tough than Pharmacy, where there are no mathematics subjects, and public/community health is pushed to the peripheries with only a few subjects starting in the third year. To make it even worse, despite the relatively low UAI required to get in (93.85, equivalent to OP 4, whereas QUT had an op cut-off of 3), to get into honours year (fourth year for accreditation as a dietitian), you have to get minimum of credit average. Even though it’s quite likely that if I studied hard it shouldn’t be any trouble, but when there is that question of doubt hanging over your head, it’s not really that nice. You already have enough to worry about when you’re studying in university, let alone to worry about whether or not you’ll ever be able to pursue the career you so wished to have! So it was an unfortunate no.
QLD: UQ: UQ seemed to want to taunt me by introducing a new nutrition major and Master of Dietetics for 2009. I thought it was perfect for me, even though there is that slight possibility I may not be able to enter masters, plus an extra half year of studies. All my hope was placed on UQ now: and it was quashed. I looked further into it, and the new degrees were going to be taught at the IPSWICH campus. Yes, Ipswich. Now I’m open to living independently, but if I’m going to move out of my house, I’m doing it so that i can receive quality education. But the thing was, the new nutrition major was going to be offered within the Bachelor of Health Sciences, a degree that is for the laziest of people who just want the easiest way to get into a health career (note, OP 16 cut-off), which is precisely why it was relegated to the boganville town of Ipswich. Do I really want to live in the hole called Ipswich amongst classmates who don’t give a shit about their education? Do I really? no. Furthermore, since it’s a new degree, being their guinea pig isn’t the wisest of ideas.

I was despondent. One after another, it seemed that there was a conspiracy to prevent me from leaving Brisbane, or from attending a prestigious university.
I don’t hate QUT. I think it was more of a very very bad nightmare I had during that semester of design. And having went to a ‘prestigious high school’, I probably became a little elitist myself, and thought I had to go to a ‘reputable university’ just to maintain my status quo. Well, I don’t want to think like that. You stand on your own two feet: you don’t rely on your attendance of university or your grades to measure your worth, and whoever does is not somebody of substance anyhow. Yeah, I’ll have to live with the taunts of “I GO TO UQ THEREFORE I AM BETTER THAN YOU”, I’ll have to separate from many of my friends, I won’t have the honorific title of “Group of 8 University graduate” to lean back on, but at least I’ve learned early on that prestige isn’t everything.  If I could fight this irrepressible urge, it means I am truly choosing a job for its job, not for the pathetic 4 years of studies and the enjoyment it can provide me in that short timeframe, or the foolish pride it would afford me from being able to boast about my “high society” education. It was pretty funny: my little brother was playing with his little friend. They were getting up to some mischievous things, so I chided them. The friend ignored me, and Robbie matter-of-factedly said “Listen to my sister! She went to Brisbane State High! She is very smart!” and at that point I just rolled my eyes, “So what?!”

While I realise that indeed, UQ, and any other sandstone university for that matter, is a very good university giving quality education to its students who no doubt are intelligent to be able to enter in the first place, it doesn’t give them prerogative to regard others with contempt. Many people have considerations other than eminence when making a choice of university; many have no choice but to choose another university because it is more suitable for the degree they want: it is not necessarily because of a lacking OP (or intelligence, for those who erroneously believe the two have a strong correlation). Four years on from now, and everybody’s going to be slaving away as a novice in the lowest of ranks, the graduation certificate you receive is only a license to a lifetime of learning, and which university you went to or what GPA you got would be the most trivial of matters. Ultimately what is important is your character, rather than the shadow of pride that prestigious education or good marks confer.

A career quandry

I can call myself lucky.
I am the sort of person who enjoys abstract theory rather than practical skills. which basically means that I would probably enjoy studying ANYTHING in university (as long as it’s not mathematics, engineering or business related ~shudder~), and precisely why my choice of senior subjects was so diverse: because I derive satisfaction from the theoretical study of anything, really, as I have such a varied range of interests, which is probably why it was so difficult for me to choose a career in the first place! Art, psychology, the humanities (particularly anthropology), science (particularly biology), the English language; I could go through the whole degree happily, unbeknowist of the fact that after this academic phase of learning ‘irrelevant’ theory, I would have to do the practical side, the application, which I may hate.

So why am I lucky? Had I not chosen to study design, where the practical work was surely not appealing to me, I would have naively wasted four years of my life, thinking how great life is while I’m happily engaging in my “head in the clouds” state of academic studying, only get pushed into the workforce to discover how much I hated the actual job (note here that the studies of something can differ vastly from the actual job it leads to). This could have easily happened to any subject I would have potentially chosen. The problem lies within the fact that I would not really enjoy any of the jobs those subjects lead to, I may actually end up hating the career! Although this post seems to imply that I am immensely picky, it’s not so. It’s more about whether I am suited to a job, and because I’m quite aware about what suits me and what doesn’t, it helped me to foresee any potential shortcomings I may have encountered in a profession.

(If you want to just get the gist of how I chose Nutrition and Dietetics, you can skip the coloured text about how I analysed every career I thought feasible)

Read it this way:

First paragraph is: Why I’d enjoy studying this subject…

Second paragraph is: Why I wouldn’t enjoy the job…

Urban planning

Geography is pretty fascinating.

Too much politics.

Arts

Hello art history, anthropology, english studies, sociology…I like the humanities in all its worldliness! I was seriously thinking of choosing it since it’s for indecisive people like me, and especially because of how easy and interesting it is, but I decided it would be of no benefit to me since I’ve pretty much mastered the whole ‘research/essay-writing technique’ Arts lecturers keep boasting about, in high school.

A Mcdonald’s burgery patty flipper (ever heard of the joke? “What did the B.A. graduate say to the law graduate? ‘Would you like fries with that?'” hahhaa.. either that end of the spectrum, or a university researcher, which I probably would love, but the chances are pretty slim, and researchers seem a bit ‘out of it’, disconnected from the world (something I’m already too much of!). Even if not, it would be something like an art curator, with lots of politics and business, a teacher, or an editor or translator. Actually I wouldn’t mind being an editor or a translator. However, my Chinese is a far shot from professional, and I also don’t think I could stand just reading and writing all day long (plus, I’m not that pedantic to be an editor, I don’t think)…

Any of the Medical/Health sciences

Biology is really interesting for me.

A doctor/speech pathologist/pharmacist/dentist/occupational therapist/physiotherapist/optometrist/whatever else (too: stressful/too boring/too routine/too much detail/too caring/too physical-exercise-based/too much physics and monotonous. One of my main options was speech pathology, chosen because of my love of language, but the actual job is actually more about teaching others about how to make sounds rather than about the artistry of language.

Science

Unleash the inner bio freak within!

Scientist: (I can’t imagine myself in a lab coat tinkering with beakers, prodding mice and writing down numbers all day)

Environmental science

Geography and biology combined in one! Hell yes!

Environmental scientist/manager: I’m just not a tree-hugger.

Psychology

Theories? Essays? Analysing the inner workings of a person’s psyche? Bring it on.

A psychologist/careers counsellor/whatever (talking day in day out to crazy, stressed, or whatever people will eventually drive me insane. Plus i’m already overly analytical of people, don’t want to add fuel to a fire. And although the thought of being a careers counsellor is appealing because I can empathise with them wholeheartedly, I have to admit they don’t help that much (unless it’s saying “listen to your heart”, which everyone knows but hardly anyone enacts on. Which I suppose, most people DO need to hear that advice (maybe I just didn’t find it useful because I already listen to my heart). Besides, most people who study psychology end up needing to do a masters degree in a completely unrelated subject anyway).

Veterinary science

Oh, how I love learning about zoology! I find animals really fascinating, you can see me watching ants all day if I were allowed.

I just don’t love animals enough. They’re cute, but I am not an animal fanatic. Besides, there’s a lot of hands-on work like operations and other fiddly stuff.

Education

Get to study two things at once! (the actual subject/s (I would probably choose something like English/Arts/Biology), and the theory of teaching)

I’m just not in love with little kids, and teenagers? Keep me a yard away from those pests! As for adult teaching, that’s ok, but not for the rest of my life.. I’m also not much of a public speaker.

Journalism

(aahh.. writing is one of my fortes, if I must say)

You need to be bold. VERY bold. And quick-thinking. And have thick skin. None of which I had been endowed with.

Law

Perfect for an analytical person like me.

Leaving the worst till last. Of all the jobs listed here, I believe I would hate this the most. What was I thinking? Was I ever one to love the rigidity of rules and laws?! Was I ever very fond of debating (aka. twisting the facts and lying)? Nonononono!


Separated from the section of “I will like subjects because they’re all theoretical but will hate practical subjects“, some people, knowing my talent in art and love of cooking, asked why I don’t become an artist or a chef. I laugh out loud, especially at the second one.

Fine Art

Yes, I am a keen lover of art, always have been and always will be. It is an inborn gift that I can have such aptitude for it without much practice.

Yet I don’t particularly LIKE drawing or painting. I can say it’s even quite frustrating at times, as if my perfectionist self will never be satisfied with my own artworks, like a chore. It’s also very hands-on, just too much doing rather than ideological thinking. I can’t imagine myself being some bong-smoking hippie artist (yeah yeah, I know it’s such a stereotype, but all artists are slightly insane. Not that I’m not insane, but I don’t think I want to be more than I already am). Perhaps I am more fond of the notion of art rather than the reality of it.

Graphic Design

It’s true, I like to draw, and make things look pretty, and all that jazz.

I don’t have creativity on demand: it just sparks in me whenever, randomly. And you have to pander your designs to the clients’ wants. Plus, I’m not into technology and computer art…

Culinary Arts

Ok, I do like to cook.

But seriously, a lot of people LIKE TO COOK. Does that mean they should all sign up for the next chef apprenticeship course or partake in the Iron Chef? I would actually quite loathe being a chef, because it’s so routine, so manual, so uncreative. I guess I like cooking more because I get to eat it afterwards, than the actual act of cooking!

So I’m lucky. Lucky I chose something where it was so blatantly obvious I would dislike the job, rather than blindly fall in love with university, then get pushed into the reality of workforce.

So why did I choose Nutrition and Dietetics? The sort of job I want is one that is varied, free of rigid hierarchy or routine, one where I can think and analyse, and one where I can help others thrive in a meaningful way. I know a lot of people who want careers where they can just leave all of it behind after 5pm. I’m not like that, I have to feel strongly and passionate about my career. Which is why I think I will leave a profession without too much hesitation if I start losing interest in it, rather than staying in it as most people would-even if it means unfavourable financial consequences. I think by now you’d know that my sole criteria for a job is interest, in the topic and in the work. Call me starry-eyed and fanciful, but wealth or status had no place in my quest for an ideal career.

I have been told that dietitians are either fat or anorexic. Haha, I mean, this sort of cliche is funnily quite true, dietitians either have a love of food, or are health freaks. I must say I am much more of the former, but thankfully not really fat. People ask, “Do you really like food THAT much?”. Well, sort of, yes. I love to eat. I always have. But I think it’s more than just that. I want a job where I can deal with the big picture. With Speech Pathology, I don’t think I would enjoy it much because I think it’s way too specialised and also the sort of work involved seems so monotonous (administering tests, teaching others how to make sounds…) But nutrition is a much more holistic field, where you can really make a difference in a broad way…

I am interested in nutrition, I like how the topic covers the areas of public health/community/clinical roles, leaving a lot of flexibility with social studies, psychology and science… and also get the chance to do some preventative work rather than after the disease has already occurred!

I spent a long long time deliberating over what my career should be fated to be. A lot of tears, a lot of confusion, a lot of despondency. But in the end, I think it’s important to realise that a job is just a job after all: all jobs becomes routine after a while, so don’t have overly high expectations, and know it’s not the end of the world if you feel burnt out and want a change. Human nature is dynamic and ever-changing, and we should always be true to ourselves (I hope this won’t mean changing careers every third year or something…hopefully I’m not that fickle…).

And that, my friends, is my 2000-word summary of my analysis of careers. (which you probably didn’t read)

I guess it’s about time I cleared up on what happened in 2008.

In case you didn’t know, I quit my degree in Landscape Architecture and took a ‘gap semester’ for Semester 2. My reasons for doing so were presented in my previous blog, and I didn’t think it was necessary for me to waste one semester of uni fees and time in a subject I was averse to.

So, you might be wondering what on earth I did during that ‘gap semester’. I did many different things, among them being:

~wasting a LOT of time doing pointless things (e.g. sitting in front of the computer, bumming around);
~attempting to get some work experience to find out about jobs (instead, I got a lot of rejections, and some ‘interviews’);
~researching about different careers (heck, I even went back to the Careers Expo and emailed strangers asking about their jobs: people are actually very willing to talk about their careers to strangers in emails! 🙂 );
~’studying’ Chemistry in preparation for my future studies (that was rather unsuccessful, as expected, self-studying isn’t very effective);

The lovely volunteers at MS Society Pottery
The lovely volunteers at MS Society Pottery

~volunteering for various health organisations (every Tuesday was Multiple Sclerosis Pottery club, Thursdays was working as a “Patient Buddy” in Mater Hospital);
~’lecture shopping’ (I furtively sneaked into lots of different lectures at UQ and QUT, just to get a taste of the different subjects on offer. Some of them included psychology, chemistry, pharmacology etc… It wasn’t very easy to sneak in though, especially when you don’t know where the smaller lecture halls are, or what times they are held… Once, I walked into a lecture that ended 1 minute later (people looked at me like I was from a mental asylum), and another time I barged in the middle of an exam! (luckily nobody saw…or dragged me to take an exam I would have no idea about, haha!);

pic
Psychology at UQ

~and eventually, my mum dragged me to her dental surgery to work as a dental assistant.

Mr. Tooth

Mr. Tooth

As you can see, social activities didn’t feature in my ventures, I’ve discovered I can actually live as a hermit (surprise surprise) (note: I didn’t feel that great though)!!! My ‘gap semester’ was quite unproductive, but very different from usual student life nevertheless.

So now I’ve got that cleared up… you’ll be wondering how I came to my decision to study Nutrition and Dietetics. This will take a mini essay that may be best left for another day to spare you the eyestrain.

(N.B. if you don’t believe in God, replace the word with some divinity that reigns the universe, whether that be the sky, or some mystical force called fate…)

So I’m going to post something against the traditional doctrine (I’m not a pious Christian that believes everything the Bible or priest says.).

Whenever I go to church, they always mention an unfortunate person, and ask that everyone pray for them.

Why should people pray if God already knows what is best for us, and has made His plans for us regardless of whether we cusp our hands together and close our eyes and beg Him for something? I am not speaking of praying for praise or gratefulness, but the praying that many people do in an attempt to solve their/other people’s problems. God is almighty and He already knows and has pre-ordained our destiny that is best for us, whether we know this or not, so why is it necessary to ask for Him to change our destiny?

I guess you’ll be thinking that I don’t pray. Actually, I do, but only on rare occasions. These rare occasions are times of great distress, where my future is plagued with doubt and I’m feeling somewhat forlorn. Usually I start off with the typical “Please God, help me…” But for the very reason I stated above, I change it back to “Please God, just do whatever you know is best for me and the world.” So praying in times of distress is more of a way to find solace rather than seeking for a favour from God. No doubt, it is a pretty effective way to ease the suffering and enrich ourselves spiritually, but as for asking God to thwart the fateful path that He has ordained, I don’t get it. Have people forgotten that God will do what is best, no matter we pray to Him or not?

哥哥 got engaged!

(a most unprofound post title)

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear of my brother’s engagement with his girlfriend of 5 years, Yoko. My first memory of this girl was back in Wagga Wagga, when my brother and I were sitting in the computer room, and he was telling me in a lovesick tone about how he had fell for a Japanese girl who was older than him, and that he was worried it might go against tradition. Then it blossomed into a beautiful and tender relationship, and our family also became close to Yoko, who was in Brisbane at the time. She was always really kind to us, inviting us over for her lovely Japanese food, sending packages of food and gifts from Singapore/Japan, sending us little letters telling us about her life and asking about ours… She also had always known I like Snoopy (something most of my friends might not actually know/bother to remember!), and that I like to eat Japanese snacks. hahaha.

I guess Yoko has made a real influence on my brother, in a good way of course! He has become more caring and accepting now, bullying me a little less than before. 😛

When I was small I had a strange dream about my brother getting married, and I was actually jealous of the bride! I was quite close to Gor Gor and the thought of him leaving his little sister, and replacing me with his wife as a ‘surrogate sister’ must have been quite a scary thought for me! The strange dream aside, I am actually really happy and have no feelings of jealousy, as I now realise that I’m never going to be ‘replaced’, and besides, Yoko is too much of a dream sister-in-law to be jealous of! Haha (yes, Gor Gor shall always be in my never-ending “bully-victim” sibling cycle).

If you are reading this, Gor Gor or Yoko, I wish to congratulate your engagement, and hope this passage wasn’t embarrassing and hope you don’t mind me talking about it!

Here is a photo of the spouses-to-be. (I tried to look for a really cute picture of them in Japan but my brother must have deleted it out of bashfulness because he was hugging her hehe)

Fiancée and Fiancé

Fiancée and Fiancé

When I listen to the radio, I have a marvelous time appreciating the beauty of music. After a long spate of mediocre songs, though, I get a little frustrated that there aren’t any good songs broadcasted. But then, unexpectedly and much to my delight, a song I like is played, and I relish in the magnificence of the song. So I thought to myself, why don’t I take note of all the songs I liked and played them on demand on YouTube, so I won’t have to endure the unexceptional songs? With that, I set off to indulge in some music orgy. But it seemed like the songs were somewhat lacklustre from their usual selves, it just didn’t quite climax and send shivers down my spine like they did before.

 
Then I realised why. Without the many mundane, insipid songs that I had to tolerate, the good songs didn’t seem special anymore.

Perhaps it’s not good to have everything you want. Perhaps it’s better to live through the humdrum of mundane life, and when something beautiful comes along, the intensity of its beauty and novelty will be magnified luxuriantly. So when you feel dismal about how routine and uninspiring life is, just be patient and bear with it, great things will come. There will always be a part of me longing for something, missing something, but I’ll be reminded of this analogy and understand that without the dull monotony of the everyday, the rarity of wonderful things will go unappreciated. 

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

I just had this sudden urge to go hiking up a mountain under the moonlit starry sky. It’s a shame walking around at night is a ‘dangerous’ risk to take in Australia. When I was a child in HK I had fond memories of roaming around the city and natural places at night with no fear. I even remember hiking up a hill, making a stop at this fluorescent-lit house (houses are rare in HK).

How I crave to relive the joys of wandering around and engulfed in the mysterious shrouds of darkness without a speck of trepidation. A beautiful, serene, exhilirating experience, to walk up a mountain when the sun and creatures, who usually so harshly shines or eyes, have been doused to sleep. Where palpable objects become indiscrete shadows, where sounds are amplified tenfold, where there is the rare occasion (one that daytime does not permit) of simultaneously experiencing both ends of the spectrum of stimulus: of the intense allure of the moon, to detecting the most subtle nuances of the dark, unfamiliar habitat you have intruded upon. Where all surroundings seem inextricable, everything falls into its place, is one with the universe. Alone, yet invigorated, while relishing in being one of the few individuals still awake and blessed to appreciate such a thrilling yet uncanny atmosphere that only the hours of darkness offer.

WordPress vs. Blogger

The blogging wars!

The blogging wars!

As suggested by a techno-geek, I kept two blogs from both wordpress and blogger to get a feeling for both and select the one I preferred. In the end, wordpress won, but you may think differently. There is a nice article comparing the two blogging services on: http://blog.awakenedvoice.com/2006/04/01/hosted-blog-comparison-wordpress-vs-blogger/, and http://www.searchforblogging.com/index.php/2008/03/11/blogging-wars-wordpress-vs-blogger/, but here’s my own list of all the pros and cons of the two blog platforms with less technical jargon and focussing more on the experience.

Blogger is probably easier to navigate and use. WordPress is quite technical.

Blogger has less attractive templates, and a lot less choice. WordPress templates are very attractive and lots of choice.

Blogger categories have number indicating how much it was used. WordPress doesn’t (unless u move mouse over it).

Blogger has only one level of ‘categories’. WordPress allows for as many ‘levels’ of categories you like, eg. within the Music category, you can have a sub-category of Jazz, and a further sub-category of Blues.

Blogger can’t attach videos from the internet, but wordpress can.

Blogger allows you to add more widgets, wordpress allows very limited range.

Blogger has no tracking of stats of blog views, but wordpress does.

Blogger’s links to other blogs also include a snippet of the latest post, but for wordpress there is no preview, just a list (unless u move mouse over it).

Blogger lets you edit all the little gadgets, like your bloglist, right from the blog, no need to go somewhere else, whereas for wordpress, you have to go to some other webpage (not your blog) to edit gadgets.

Blogger’s blog lists are convenient in that they are arranged in order of the most recently updated blog, whereas wordpress is just alphabetical.

Blogger allows you to change the font and size of the text easily. In WordPress the style of the text is dependent on which theme (template) you choose.

Blogger lacks the tabs of ‘pages’ you see at the top here. WordPress has them.

Blogger doesn’t show the history of your editing of posts, wordpress has a page showing the history of the time you edited which post, what you commented etc.

Blogger has several standardised choices for the font colour, wordpress allows you to customise the colour to any that takes your fancy.

As you can probably see from my random post below, wordpress has emoticons, but blogger has none (it stays as : D rather than 😀 )

Really, both blogging services are exceptionally professional, and I would recommend either. Both allow for multiple blogs under the same person (what I wanted), and both are lightyears in front of Windows Live. But I ended up being drawn more to wordpress because, okay I’ll admit it, the template themes are just so stunning and beautiful compared to the amateur-looking designs at blogger. For ease of use (for beginners like myself) and familiarity (who doesn’t love gmail or google?!), blogger gets my vote, but wordpress is more sophisticated and diverse as a whole.

Happy blogging!