late night coffee

I should probably be going to bed and catching up on sleep right now, but I just wanted to write this quickly, so… yeah… sometimes I just randomly feel like writing, and I feel like if I don’t write it down as soon as possible, then the feeling will pass and I won’t be able to just write about it later.

Well, anyway, had a nice catch up dinner with a few friends last night – had some ramen, and then went to San Churro for some dessert. I got talked into having a coffee (because you get free/cheaper truffles or something if you buy two coffees). I’m pretty sure it was after 8pm (possibly after 8:30pm – I don’t tend to check the time much while I’m out, which probably at least partially explains why I’m not great at following through with promises of “having an early night”…)

I don’t drink coffee much usually, but I know from previous experience that if I have coffee too late in the afternoon, I’ll have trouble sleeping that night. And this crossed my mind last night, but I was intrigued by this Spanish latte with condensed milk, so I acquiesced and ordered that.

Firstly, I just want to say that I definitely do not regret it. And secondly, yes, I had a bit of trouble falling asleep. Since I got home closer to 11pm than 9 or 10pm, as originally intended, I already knew I would be sleeping later than I should. But, although I was moderately tired, when I did eventually go to bed and closed my eyes, the serenity only served to amplify my racing thoughts and the rush of sugar pumping through my blood (remember, there was dessert with the coffee).

You would think that that would have frustrated me to no end, but in hindsight I reckon I got a bit of a kick out of it, which only made it worse. Of course, I knew I had to get to sleep because I had work the next day, but I also knew that I’ve previously survived full days at work with sub-optimal rest. Nonetheless, I eventually managed to calm my mind enough to drift off to sleep.

I think I had some pretty crazy hallucination-like dreams last night, though. Can’t remember exactly what happened in the dreams, but I’m quite sure there were just too many colours everywhere and too much going on all at once.

And still, I regret nothing! If anything, I need to do this again some time. Maybe not on a night when I have work or some other important engagement the next morning…

musical indulgence

So I spent a lot of time on YouTube last night, just watching one music video after another. Despite what it sounds like, it wasn’t one of those “I’m going to watch one video and then do something else… Two hours later: still on YouTube…” kind of situations (although that does happen now and then). No, I was intentionally watching one MV after another. I just started with one MV and made a deal to watch a related/suggested video after each one. A self-imposed YouTube marathon.

I haven’t done that in a long time (feels like a long time, anyway). And, don’t worry, I wasn’t up all night. The best thing about this sort of MV binge is that I’m totally in control. I went to bed at the usual time (maybe even a bit earlier).

However, at some point during this music therapy, my mind wandered a bit, and I started wondering if I was wasting time: There’s so much else that I could be doing… I don’t have to watch all of these videos – I could just listen to the songs in the background and do something else… I haven’t submitted a CPD quiz in ages…

Ok, I admit, that last thought didn’t actually even cross my mind. I just happened to glance across just now at my pile of unread copies of ‘Australian Journal of Pharmacy’ and ‘Australian Pharmacist’ (which is not actually that big, mind you!) and figured that that probably should have been a consideration.

Well, clearly, I decided that, no, it is not a waste of time. I reckon that, when it comes to leisure time, “waste” is very subjective. Playing games, reading books, watching TV, playing sport – you could easily argue one way or the other about whether these are “worth your while”. But it doesn’t matter. Well, it shouldn’t matter to anyone but yourself, provided that it isn’t negatively affecting relationships with other people.

Perhaps the fact that I’ve thought so much about this, and that I’ve had to kind of justify it in a way, qualifies it as a “guilty pleasure”…? I wouldn’t say that I feel at all guilty, but I will concede that it might fall somewhere in that kind of ballpark.

And now the real question: What song started the marathon? One of my favourites: Affirmation – Savage Garden

‘It’s ok to miss someone. If anything, it’s good to know that you’ve met someone worth missing.’

rise and fall

I finished reading ‘The Necklace of the Gods’ (Alison Goodman) this morning, and, after thinking about it for a lot of the afternoon, I actually kind of have mixed feelings about it.

(Just a warning before I proceed: I’m going to do my best not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it, but I can’t guarantee anything because it’s hard to write about everything I want to write about without giving away some of the story.)

TNOTG is still written superbly well, just like the first novel, ‘The Two Pearls of Wisdom’ but the story and character development just felt … different. Not necessarily in a bad way. Here, let me explain…

It’s kind of been a while since I read TTPW (well, it hasn’t really, but my long-term memory isn’t that great so it kind of has been) so I don’t remember it in extensive details, but Eona’s character/personality seemed more stable/constant. The plot development also seemed more straightforward – not really meaning to say it was more simplistic, but TNOTG kind of weaves around a bit more in comparison.

Having said that, however, I kind of reckon that the build-up in TNOTG was a bit slower than TTPW, culminating in a frickin’ epic ending (please excuse the language) in the last five or so chapters. Actually, it was probably because I read it more slowly than the first book…

I mean, the first book was kind of centred around the Palace and the Dragoneye Halls, and they went to that fishing village briefly, but in the second book they seem to travel all over the place. And there’s a whole lot of death and destruction throughout. I liked that there was plenty of action and such, but there was also a lot more talking and strategising – and so much more about relationships and feelings and sexual tension.

I suppose it was all necessary, though. It’s kind of a complex concept – the whole thing with the Dragons and their pearls and their relationship with the Dragoneyes and also the Imperial line…

When I said earlier that Eona’s character seemed more stable in the first book – that’s because of the development of her relationships with Ido and Kygo in TNOTG. Ido brings out her power-hungry side, which I kind of felt was at odds with who she really was, since she’s the hero. But, considering her past, I suppose it makes sense for her to have some craving for power. And then her relationship with Kygo was sort of up and down all the time.

Ok, now this next part might not make a lot of sense, considering what I just wrote, but I liked Ido a lot more in TNOTG than in the first book. Maybe I just felt sorry for him at the start, or maybe I liked that he seemed to be helping Eona and protecting her… If I think of Ido and Kygo as characters in isolation, not in context of the story and whether they’re good or evil (if that makes sense), I reckon I like Ido better. (For anyone who hasn’t read the series (can you still call it a series if there’s only two books in it?), it’s sort of like comparing Edward and Jacob from ‘Twilight’.)

I still can’t get over how awesome the ending was, though. I don’t want to fully give it away, but that twist involving Yuso kind of caught me by surprise. Overall, I reckon I’d rank ‘The Necklace of the Gods’ as highly as I did ‘The Two Pearls of Wisdom’. Too bad there won’t be another sequel…

Edit: Just wanted to add, for the record, and for random trivia, when there are only two books in a series, it’s actually called a duology (as advised by a friend). There don’t seem to be many duologies in the literary world (I haven’t heard of them, anyway) but there you go.

want to know a secret…?

Following on from my previous post, I wanted to share another blog that I’ve discovered recently: Post Secret.

It almost doesn’t require an explanation (if you visit the site, you’ll find out all there is to know about it) but, for the benefit of those who don’t randomly click on links posted by random strangers on the internet (and if you do actually know me, you should trust me enough to click on it), I’ll summarise the concept of Post Secret.

It’s basically a “community art project” that involves random people (perhaps even you!) anonymously mailing in their actual secrets on postcards so that they can be published on this blog and shared with the world. When I first stumbled upon the site, I thought it was a pretty cool concept, but I was a bit worried that it’d be full of depressing confessions about depressing things.

Ok, so there is a fair amount of sad/emotional stuff (and some disturbing stuff too) but there are positive ones, too. In a general sense, I reckon the more personal secrets are the best ones. Well, I would imagine it’s rather liberating (to a degree) for the postee to write down their secret and mail it off. And it may be comforting for others to realise that a lot of other people are going through the same/similar emotions, dilemmas, torments and so forth.

I suppose I like reading Post Secret more out of general interest or curiosity. I also suppose that I like the idea of being able to write whatever you want and sharing something with people, but those people not knowing your actual identity. A bit like keeping a blog, I guess.

most amazing blog I’ve ever come across

I feel like I haven’t written a post about books in a long time but, rest assured, I have still been reading whenever I can. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written a book-related post in so long – too busy reading…

Well, anyway, I’m still making my way through ‘Great Expectations’ as well as ‘The Necklace of the Gods’. Actually, I guess I’ve just been waiting until I finished either of them before writing about them, and that’s the real reason why there’s been an absence of book posts.

But I have finished another book. Not really a novel, but a book nonetheless. I recently discovered Allie Brosh’s blog ‘Hyperbole and a Half’ and have since spent a ridiculous amount of time going back through her older posts. Her stories and pictures are just so amazingly funny – I just couldn’t stop myself.

I still haven’t gone through her entire archives (yet) but I went out to buy the book, and I’m so glad that I did! What I like about Allie Brosh’s work is that, not only is it hilarious, but it’s also relateable (even though some stories are just so like is this for real??) It’s probably a good thing that I hadn’t discovered her blog earlier because I would’ve spent so many hours procrastinating instead of doing uni work or whatever.

Well, that’s enough from me. You should go check out her blog. Right now. I particularly liked her Depression post (can’t remember the exact title) and “The year Kenny Loggins ruined Christmas” and the one about “the Alot” and just everything.

late night ponderings

Amongst my random thought trails, I’ve recently revisited certain ponderings regarding selflessness. I remember going to a friend’s psychology lecture back in uni and the lecturer posited that there was no such thing as a truly selfless act because the person doing whatever it was would always gain something from it – if not something material, then perhaps something like gratitude, recognition or reputation.

I’ve tended to agree with that, but recently challenged the idea. You see, I reckon you can have a truly selfless act so long as it remains anonymous. If no one knows that you did it, you cannot receive gratitude or things like that. However, if it is anonymous, any recipients or observers wouldn’t be able to judge that it was truly selfless. It wouldn’t be possible to determine that there wasn’t an ulterior motive. In which case, it still technically does not exist as a truly selfless act.

It’s sort of like that riddle about a tree falling in a forest and whether it makes a sound if no one is there to hear it. Theoretically the sound exists but it can’t really be proven. And once it is proven, the riddle becomes redundant. You know, that sort of thing…

Also, trying to commit selfless acts in this manner sort of goes against the notion that “love unexpressed is not love”. As such, love can never be truly selfless, and it never really is, I guess.