Continuum

It's been an eventful time since I last updated my blog.

Went up to Lismore on the weekend for the Slug roadtrip thing. It was an effort getting there, to say the least. Basically, I turned up 20 minutes before the flight left, and they wouldn't let me onto the plane, because it had already "boarded". I was rather annoyed, as all of the information that REX had sent me said that I needed to check in no later than 15 minutes before the flight departed. So there I was, stranded at Sydney airport with no cash, no phone, and no way to get home. I eventually managed to get a flight up to Ballina, and then one of the kind hearted Gluggers drove from Lismore to give me a lift (thanks David!)

There were numerous other things I could complain about (the weekend just wasn't working for me - they almost didn't recognise my booking at the motel I stayed at, people at the RSLs not beleiving I was under 18, etc), but it all turned out well in the end. I've done so much public speaking over the last few weeks that I no longer fear giving any type of presentation, and my talk on Linux and Wireless was well received.

Made it back to Sydney in the evening, but ended up not having any money to get home with (being a student sucks!), so I ended up waiting half an hour for my dad to drive from work to pick me up. Caught up on my reading of Heart of Darkness, so all was not lost.

When I got home I set the alarm for 6:30 so I could get to school on time the next day. Went to sleep. Woke up at 11:00am - the alarm was set to go off at 6:30PM, not am. Had to drag myself to school.

When I got home that afternoon I found out that my grandma's condition had deteriorated, and that she wasn't expected to last the week. She passed away Tuesday morning at 4:00am.

I'm reminded of her by these lyrics:

The long and winding road


That leads to your door


Will never disappear


I've seen that road before


It always leads me her


Lead me to you door



The wild and windy night


That the rain washed away


Has left a pool of tears


Crying for the day


Why leave me standing here


Let me know the way



Many times I've been alone


And many times I've cried


Any way you'll never know


The many ways I've tried



But still they lead me back


To the long winding road


You left me standing here


A long long time ago


Don't leave me waiting here


Lead me to your door



But still they lead me back


To the long winding road


You left me standing here


A long long time ago


Don't leave me waiting here


Lead me to your door


-- The Beatles, The Long and Winding Road

Darkness

Today we got new pieces in WYO, which i'm very happy about. One of them is "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint Saens, and it happens to be one of my favourite pieces of classical music of all time - very beautiful yet sinister.

The story behind it goes that the cloaked figure of Death appears in a graveyard and starts playing a waltz. Slowly, creapy things come out from underneath the tombstones and dance to this eeiry waltz of Death. The waltz becomes more and more frantic as other creatures of the night come out and join in this frenetic midnight Death waltz. All of a sudden the sun comes out and the skeletons disappear into their graves. Death plays his tune one more time and disappears.

My laptop went in for service today. I'm getting a wireless card built into it as mentioned before, and i'm getting a battery upgrade, too. Still have to do a bit more work for this trip up to Goonellabah, though, so the sooner I get my laptop back the better!

We've recently received a number of new assignments at school (when do we not?), with the most interesting one being English Extension 1. We have to do a critical essay of two texts that have a direct relation to one another, ie, one being an appropriation of the other. I've chosen Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and the movie "Apocalypse Now" as my two texts. I'm really looking forward to doing a bit of critical analysis of Apocalypse Now. It's easily one of the best war movies of all time, but it's also a fascinating look at how humans react under extreme amounts of pressure when thrown into an environment that has no resemblence to any prior experience they may have of had. Started to read Heart of Darkness and i'm finding it quite interesting, too. I've borrowed from the local library a book containing a collection of critical essays of Heart of Darkness, and some nice person before me has kindly annotated each essay with links to Apocalypse Now.

Improv is fun

It's been a busy week, and I haven't blogged as much as I would have liked, so now i'm making up for lost time.

We've had a few power outages recently. In the last one my webserver's hard disk got hosed, so i've had fun trying to get that fixed up and in working order. It seems to be running fine for now, my i'm watching it very closely just to be sure it won't misbehave.

I finally got my new laptop. I've been working towards getting one for a while, so i'm pretty happy with it. There a few things a bit strange with it, though. For instance, there is not battery monitor, so it's prone to just turning itself off after a few hours without any warning. The one thing that _really_ annoys me is the fact that it doesn't have a PCMCIA slot. To add to that, it doesn't have any WLAN capabilities either, so i'm rather annoyed about that. I'm going to send it back and make sure that they give me the next model up that has WLAN built in. I'll have to flog off my current wireless card to some poor unsuspecting soul at school. Otherwise, it's quite a nice little thing.

I performed today with the Western Youth Orchestra on Tuba. I thought I played quite well, too. The Orchestra performed Bizet's "Carmen Suite", Bizet's "La Arlesienne", "A Perfect Day" from the Beatrix Potter television series, "Australian Popular Music Medley" by George Ellis, and "Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini. In the wind ensemble we performed "The Stripper", and "Caravan" from "Sophisticated Ladies". I quite enjoy the wind ensemble now that we have a new conductor. Coincidently, he happens to be my first music tutor who I haven't seen for a number of years, so we get on quite well. I was able to improvise a bit in Caravan, and I found that rather enjoyable, especially since it was in a live performance.

Sleep

Damn irregular sleep patterns. I went to bed at 7pm last night and woke up at 3:45am this morning. I feel quite refreshed, but I have an absolute mass of schoolwork due today which I was meant to finish off last night, so this morning is going to be quite interesting.

My Tuba lesson was good yesterday. I have to do a lot more practice for 7th grade exam (October) as i'm aiming for an A, but i'm looking forward to getting back into the Tuba.

Tidings

So today I finally got around to getting my blog setup, among other things.

I've picked up the reigns of organising the Glug trip for Slug from Craig, so it's going to be interesting to see how well I can fit this in with all of my school work.

At assembly this morning our school principal was talking about how she's recently taken some "man time" out to encourage students to wear their uniforms correctly. The way she said it was rather wrong. I feel that the school is falling further into the mould of some sort of totalitarian regime - now we have to wear our blazers not only on the way to school, but in homeroom too. I see no point for this.

I can see that there's a serious lack of communication between departments, and that there's also a fair amount of infighting going on as well. Fortunately i'm only here for another 16 or so months.