Monday, March 31, 2008

Muse, again

I know this blog isn't supposed to be like a Muse fan-based thing, but I can't help mentioning the greatness of this band, again.

Nick Wire of the Manic Street Preachers called them "the Rush of our era", personally I'm not sure of that comment, still I have to agree with Nick, and everybody I know on the boards(well, Muse boards) that they are (possibly)the best band of this early 21st century. I love them anyway. :D

This is nothing new, but yes, Muse's live CD/DVD charted no.2 last week, just behind Duffy. It's great, really. Both the CD and DVD are amazing...bloody amazing. And this is one of the tracks that keep echoing in my head recently. My, the Map of Problematique, not the HAARP version though.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sleeping vs Working hours

Watching the 60 Minutes talking about the importance of sleep(saying that lack of sleep may be related to obesity and some psychotic diseases) did give me some insight into how much sleep I should give myself.

I used to think that I do not need that much sleep, not as much as 9 hours people said in those science reports anyway, that it is quite necessary to eliminate some of my sleeping time for higher productivity, to get more things done, and to be competitive with my fellow colleagues who, well, sleep 4 hours a day.

But now it's occurred to me that indeed I am not a working machine, I am 100% human that sleep does play an essential role in my biological health, and thus, my productivity. It could be the 2-3 extra hours of sleep that actually lead to higher productivity instead of the lack of them. I used to sleep 6 hours a day and to be honest, in those days I didn't feel about myself as good as I do now, with 9 sleeping hours per day. I might lose a couple of working hours, but now I can actually wake up with a fully conscious mind. Unlike the past when I sometimes drooped in class, I can kick start my work right after getting up. It simply feels different. Surely I have not conducted any scientific research regarding the issue, but I can say I feel more productive than before, even though I work for less hours now.

My conclusion is that, well, while it seems to be a trend for people to sleep less and work more, saying that you can achieve more and get more things done, it is not any close to the (very scientific bullet-proof)truth that you shouldn't really scrimp on your time for sleep. The price you pay behind with sleeping less could be physical health issues like obesity and fatigue, and even mental ones like stress and depression, and most importantly, giving your sleeping hours away does not necessarily lead to increase in productivity, or worse, you might just get less things done with more things screwed up.

If you feel uneasy spending two hours more sleeping instead of working, fearing you might be "left behind" or whatever, you could just try it out during long holidays like I do. You might be surprised, you know.

Holiday: Day1 report

My holiday kicked off yesterday. :) Still lots of work to do, school and school-unrelated stuff. Lots and lots of work. The following week should be pretty much of a buzz. I do enjoy work though, an insane workaholic I am. I know I am gonna feel great after clearing all those piles of work. Here I go!

As I have mentioned in my last post, this whole week of holiday will be used as the one and only golden shiny shiny chance to turn some of the things around. My Chemistry. Poor Chemistry, the Chemistry that I love. The words've been said, and the actions?

Day 1 was more or less about relaxation and taking a break. Tidying things up for the journey ahead. I watched the Muse DVD H.A.A.R.P. again. It's pure magic. I love it.

And I do feel the need to start a new paragraph for the DVD alone.

I have to agree with lots of fans that the DVD misses lots of the brilliant visual effects they saw in the concert though. The editing itself is not that satisfactory. Could have been a lot more better with less close-up fan screaming(I am not saying that it's not nice to see fans enjoying the music, but really, it's overdone, too much), more visual effects like those in Starlight and more of Muse themselves. It's the editing's bad. :( And yeah, the sound is great, a bit too perfect to me that it almost doesn't sound like live, it almost doesn't feel like live. Too perfect maybe? It's hard not to prefer Hullabaloo when it comes to this live sound thing imo. Anyway, just personal opinions. Everybody's different. At the end of the day, both H.A.A.R.P. and Hullabaloo are amazing alright. ;)

Basically I just took a nap after watching H.A.A.R.P. and went straight to dinner when I woke up. Then it's the usual routine, TV, and sleep. Then another day came, that's it.

It doesn't seem that productive at the first glance, but this day did make me feel recharged and able to start the next day working and working and working. Cracking things huh. I'll see how the next day goes, as it starts...

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to make your life feel better in 10 days

My, I feel depressed.

Having been studying for so many years I know that exams ain't that easy, still I didn't realize how bad things could be until today. Chemistry is one of the five subjects I am taking right now, and my, I thought I was not bad at it, if not good. Then everything crashed when I had my exam today, everything, crashed. Boom.


I spent the last few nights watching Doctor Who and Muse's HAARP tour instead of studying alright(they're good, really). I think I kinda deserve the final result. Last of the class, of 40+ people.

Not that I am complaining/ranting because I think I don't deserve getting failed, but I feel really bad now.

And there comes the school holiday of 10 days. 10 days, you know, and I know how much(or how little) can be done within 10 days. So as I am here repenting my mistakes, I think I am ready for a roller-coaster change during the holiday, for the good of course.

Here comes the list: (I wanna change!)

  1. Priority: now study should go first anyway, even though it means missing a couple of Torchwood/Dr Who episodes. :(  :] Ha, ha, ha. I suppose I can always watch them later alright. What's the use of the HDD recorder anyway?
  2. Literacy: I am terrible at languages, really. And a few more books should help. I have a number of choices on hand at the moment(Brave New World, Only You Can Save Mankind, Bleak House, The Oxford Murders, Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde). See, it's a assorted classic.
  3. Music: I've been thinking about picking up keyboard again, though drums will sound really nice too(sometimes I do think that I'm a bit talented when it comes to drums). Being able to play Sing For Absolution(one of my favorite Muse song btw) would be great. The piano there is absolutely fantastic. Just one song, and I'll be happy. :) It'll be real good if I manage to master it though.
  4. Exercise: Believe it or not, exercise does help when it comes to studies. With a good body you don't even fall asleep that easily. In other words, you just don't sleep in class, because you can't. Your brain won't switch off like that in an athlete's body. It just won't. Trust me. So, 30 minutes of running down the block everyday!
  5. Chemistry: Did I not mention that I plan all these for it? For a better and happier life that is, with Chemistry. I love Chemistry. I do. Take that from me. What I am going to do is to read all the books again, complete all the exercises again, and keep repeating the steps. Read, do, check. Read, do,, do, check, done! I am gonna spend hours, and days on it. I know I gonna love that. :D

The big thing about this 10-days plan is that, you don't do anything else except those 5 on the list. Either you read, or you play, or you run, or you do. Blah blah blah. Gonna fill my timetable with those things. Day and night, they'll be all that I do, for 10 days, and I'll be good.

Lastly, a song that came into my mind when I handed in the papers today, hopelessly(and trying to pull a "I'm alright" face in front of everyone, I know you were staring at me at that time). And the song kinda fits in, my clever subconscious.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Owen Harper's Obituary

I just love the humour of Torchwood...esp. Owen Harper the medic(he's a hot guy as well). :) This is one of the many bullet-proofs, taken from the Torchwood Institude site:

I'm working on my obituary. How does this sound?

'The passing of Owen Harper (1974-2008) will be deeply mourned. Mostly by his friends and colleagues, but hopefully also by his parents, despite them never having been that close to him. They didn't know what they were missing. His passing will also be mourned by the many bar-owners of Cardiff, where he lived, worked and drank. His loss will also be keenly felt by the womenfolk of the city, to whom he gave so much, so often. He didn't do too badly with his life, all things considered: he was a bloody good doctor and saved a fair few lives on the operating table, and for an encore he saved the world, more than once. He died in the line of duty, shot by some evil bloke with some evil plan, helping keep the people of Wales, and the world, safe.'

Jack, could you work out how many times I did save (or help to save) the world? I'd like it on my gravestone. I don't really care if anybody believes it or not, it'd just be nice.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Girl In Problematique

In GTD there's one very important thing called ubiquitous capture, where you collect anything physical and in your mind, turn them into words and whatever form visible. And GTD 's about trust, building up a reliable system and trusting it completely, so you don't have to waste your time and brain power remembering what to do next when you're busy at work, with like 15+ assignments ahead. With a glance and you'll know what's on your hand. Nice!

I've been cracking different widgets for months since I started practising GTD in early 2008(it's actually in my new year resolution). Now I am using an old notebook of mine with 300+ pages. A bit bigger than 1/4 of a piece of A4 paper. Black "recyclable" plastic cover with ring-binders.

I took this
method and changed some of the details in my own way. With NAs on the front and Projects at the end, with a pocketmod monthly calender clipped at the back cover.

I have everything there, I mean it, everything. Ubiquitous capture, that's what GTD is about right? From finding a travel map to exam revision plans to organising personal stuff at home, everything is there, clear and clear, in the language which everyone around me can read. I've been using this notebook for about half a month now, sure you can call it very personal, very private, and very confidential.

But I lost the book today. 

Well, by lost I don't mean it's been sucked into a supermassive black hole behind the lockers or whatever, I just left it at school. In order words, I forgot to bring it home.

This is something I haven't experienced on my road to GTD before,
I felt lost, not knowing what to do next, because I did not have my NA list on hand.

I actually

2 hours ago I arrived home with no assignment and school stuff to do, and I was like "wow I can finally clear everything on my NA list out", stuff like "Arrange all Chemistry worksheets chronologically" and "Read How to Write English Well"(well obviously English is not my mother language). Then I tried to find my NA list, and there it came, "dude, I left it at school!".

Then this big question came:

"Now, what to do? What's my next action? How am I gonna spend the whole night without my NA list?"

Good thanks to my memory, I can still remember a couple of things on my list, and writing on this blog again is one of them. And tomorrow I'll get my book back, and happily cross some of the items there out.

This lost&found incident does give me a nice reminder of how the GTD system is blending into my life so far, it seems that I trust mine pretty well. :) Now my last worry will be my notebook, what if someone reads it? What if he reads it? What if she reads it? Oh my, let the imagination take place...I will keep my fingers crossed.