Sunday, September 25, 2005
the move the move

Reading back on some snippets of my past life (in blogdrive) and realising how many spammers there are on the site (yes, how many of my lovely 10,000+ readers are actually real people... ?) I've decided to call it quits with this site and move on to greener blog-pastures.

I think it's a worthy migration, for several reasons:-
  1. My life has changed and I probably won't be blogging about the same content much anymore.  It's time to move on, turn the page and start a new chapter in my life.
  2. There are simply too many spam-monkeys and shameless ads creeping their way into my blog to annoy me.  Will probably need a site with greater security.
  3. This blog provider doesn't give automatic links to flickr and other nice places, and my new blog provider will.
  4. I've been experimenting with the new page for a while now and think I've finally settled on a suitable color scheme.

So there you have it folks, it's simply survival of the fittest blog-provider.  My new page is at detailorientation-dot-blogspot-dot-com


It's permanent, so don't give out the link to too many people, hommies. :-)

Posted at 01:45 pm by metaphoric
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Thursday, June 16, 2005
Moving Back to Photos

A good view, a good taste (in the mouth), a good scent, a good feel, a good life.  Robert Clark travels through America with his cameraphone and he's currently in New York City: Image America

Posted at 01:30 am by metaphoric
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Friday, June 10, 2005
Sayonara Nihon!

At the airport with 7 minutes left of play time after checking my email (as always) this is what I do - I blog.  I love to blog in the strangest of places.

Some thoughts upon leaving Tokyo:
   1) Some people (like steve t.) think it's strange to come to Tokyo on vacation.  I beg to differ.  Despite the hustle and bustle of living here, this is one of the most inspiring and intense places to take a holiday - if you're not the beach type of person (which I am not) that is.
   2) There can never be too little to do - I haven't been to the places which I went the last time and I still don't have enough time to catch up on everything.
   3) This is a very good place to buy things you've always wanted from Japan but never had the chance to find elsewhere - like a daikon grater.
   4) I am still so in love with the people, culture and country here!  Despite the familiar alien-ness of the place, and the embarassment I get at being foreign (for my friends) this is a place I still find so fascinating.

The parting thought I have of Tokyo is this image: the country, people and culture - it will always remain at the tip of my fingers, just slightly beyond my grasp and reach.  If there is anyone looking in from an external perspective who thinks that they truly understand this country, this place, please let me know.  After interacting and trying to understand so much, I am still the wide-eyed little girl in a foreign land here, always trying to reach for something on the top shelf right above my fingers' reach.

I guess that's the way I'm always going to remember this country and the fascinating miasma of people, opinions and culture here.

Posted at 06:03 pm by metaphoric
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Thursday, June 09, 2005
No Love is the best Love

So I said something during dinner today that made me think about myself (and the thoughts inside my mind) for quite a while.&nbsp; A leading figure in a Japanese international cooperation organization recently wrote an autobiography in English, even though she was Japanese.&nbsp; So I was sitting on a hill (yes I love bakayama...) today when I was told this, and the first impression was, "That's kinda interesting... strange and curious why she should do that, since she's native Japanese."&nbsp; So I guess, me being me, and not being satisfied with just knowing something without knowing why, had to stupidly spend some brain processing cycles in the back of my head thinking about it.&nbsp; <BR>
And the answer finally came to me when Yuta mentioned it again to Katsu during dinner today.&nbsp; And I piped up, almost without thinking, "You know, it's really politically advantageous for her to do that.&nbsp; By writing in English and publishing it in the US, she gains political neutrality and foreign support, because an autobiography is pretty much a personal statement to a country, especially for a leading political figure like that, and by having it translated back into Japanese, she can say that it was the translation work of an external party and gain some neutrality."<BR>
I almost regretted saying that when Katsu immediately asked, "You think that's what she's doing?"&nbsp; And I said, "Well, I don't know if that's exactly her intention, but there is a possibility."&nbsp; And he said, "Well, it's good to be subversive.&nbsp; They keep teaching us to be subversive here (at ...)."&nbsp; I definitely hope&nbsp;I didn't offend anyone with that sudden thought - it required a bit too much heavy explanation for a dinner, but I didn't mean it in a bad way I guess.&nbsp; (I hate it when I get thoughts like these, without knowing whether or not there is the right receptive audienceto discuss these things...)<BR>
But thinking about it now, there is so much benefit for a cooperation agency and the representative of any organization with foreign relations to do that language thing.&nbsp; A) It buys you an international audience.&nbsp; B) It lends political neutrality.&nbsp; C) It adds credibility to any opinions while qualifying it as your own because of the neutrality of language use.&nbsp; D) It allows one to show that one is objective and not entirely embroiled with an internal point of view, but able to take an external, and international (through use of English in particular) perspective.<BR>
Funny how language and language use just does that.&nbsp; I guess it comes back to my thought recently that when it comes to patroitism and the love of one's country, the stance of neutrality and objectivity is only too important when it comes to changing or wanting to change something.&nbsp; It's the love from afar, the objective persistence of thought to shape something to one's point of view slowly but surely.&nbsp; Only too often I realised that the aggression of one's point of view is not always the right answer, although it is an answer, it is the consistency of thought and the consistency and credibility of the responses that you give.&nbsp; That's one challenge that I have, with my changing and fluid nature, I guess it's difficult for me to be a consistent and solid vessel of thought.<BR>
It comes down to the philosophy I dreamt about last night, where someone in my dream (more explanations to follow) told me this thing which I carried with me when I woke up: "Wu2 Ai4 Shi4 Zui4 Ai4" which loosely translated means "no love is the best love of all" - its not to say that to not have any love was good, but that neutrality and objectivity, often generated the best results.<BR>
My dream was poignant and I suppose a bit scary in a way.&nbsp; I was a female warrior (kinda) in a war.&nbsp; I always dream of wars and being involved in wars, so this is not surprising.&nbsp; In this war, there are no civilians.&nbsp; Women and men both fight, even kids fight, anyone who is able bodied will be involved in this war, and it's not really like scary (I guess people die, but there's kinda like a simulation game feeling, no blood and gore) and in this war there were two factions - Shioken and Ruikiken.&nbsp; (Don't ask me where I got these names from, ok?)&nbsp; I was in the Shioken group I guess, and had accidentally crossed enemy lines while being pursued by a soldier from the Ruikiken side.&nbsp; I'd entered like a pre-setup minefield trap (it looked like a room) and he'd followed me.&nbsp; The entire room was dark, with a bit of red luminescent lighting at a corner, and I'd climbed onto a ledge so as not to be found.&nbsp; He'd pursued me, and had looked around, but I think he didn't know the ledge was there.&nbsp; Realising that he would be wandering into a minefield, I threw a can into the corner to lure him to check out the far end of the room, deliberately to have him step onto a mine.&nbsp; Which he promptly did.&nbsp; So I managed to escape.<BR>
... Only to run into a Ruikiken encampment where the guards promptly asked me, "Are you Shioken or Ruikiken?"&nbsp; And I said, "Shioken!!! .... are pursuing me!"&nbsp; I guess they assumed I was the other and I escaped into the camp, where I was promptly escorted to meet the prince who ruled the faction.&nbsp; Meanwhile, word of my escape went around, and they were looking for an unknown Shioken soldier who had escaped into Ruikiken territory.&nbsp; The guard I had tricked came to report their findings to the prince and he said very gently, "You were fooled.&nbsp; This soldier is smart and not a normal soldier."&nbsp; I sat silent next to him not saying anything.<BR>
For some reason, I'd become his advisor in the room, and he'd become a person I talked to the most about what I felt about the war, and was pushing for peace between the two sides.&nbsp; Although I did not know if he was ever aware of my deception and disguise, he'd become someone that I trusted to talk to about things, and he'd never revealed my secret.&nbsp; Eventually, he had turned out to be the one person who I trusted and loved, without knowing if ever the revelation of the secret which had saved my life would be the one thing to destroy our relationship, or the one thing that stood in our way of being completely trustworthy.&nbsp; It was with that thought that I woke up, on a rather thoughtful note.<BR>
I think although the dream was quite strange (in a day) it taught me one thing.&nbsp; That I typically use being mysterious and not revealing my true thoughts/feelings as an emotional and psychic defence in a difficult world, while being completely honest to people and things around me behind a mask (like isn't blogging what that is?).&nbsp; But the truth is that the people who truly care about you, whom you truly care about, either already know but don't care - so the truth isn't something that stands in the way of being with someone you really care about, it just becomes another unsaid thing which has not yet been revealed.&nbsp; That there truly isn't anything to be afraid of in the neutrality.<BR>
Ok, so unrelated to&nbsp;any tour today, but that's just my two cents of thoughts for today.

Posted at 12:01 am by metaphoric
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Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Howdy Odaiba!

It's amazing the similarities in lives that you find between two near-strangers who have not met in years, who just in a day's true conversation today, have become friends from halfway across the world.

Miyu took me around today, and initially I think there was a bit of apprehension that she didn't know where to go (and neither did I...) and felt like she might not have known what to do, or what to show me.  We went to Odaiba, which is kind of like the futuristic man-made island near Tokyo, with an arcade (closed due to a fatal accident) and a sea-side with quite a lot of touristy western food.  I guess I may have been there before, but have forgot about it, because I'm pretty sure that I had taken the monorail and seen the ferris wheel from a distance.

But the real surprises were in the good conversation, some other interesting places that I hadn't been, and a small floor enclave that has shops selling memorabilia from retro Japan which was really interesting.  I actually remembered stuff that I used to play with, eat, and use in school as a child, only realising today how many things I actually have in common from Japan.

Of course there was stuff that I didn't know, but for those which I did, it was special.  I share silly things with Miyu like the fond memory of Japanese exercise books with the big squares which we both filled in our own way with handwriting in pencil.  We share the same use of the first glue we had in school, in a bottle which looks like a child's head (in red) wearing a yellow cap (the cover).  We both ate Pokky stick candy in chocolate and strawberry when we were young, bubble gum candy in a small box with six round balls of gum, koala chocolates (my favourite when I was 10).  It strikes me how even consumerism can become memorability and become nostalgized, when one has lived through so many years that consumer goods can become retro, and it strikes me also how in this most unexpected of ways, globalization and mass consumerism can actually bring people together.

So well, I've got more comments on my photos site if anyone else is interested in looking at not-so-well-taken photos.

Posted at 01:03 am by metaphoric
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Sunday, June 05, 2005
Oyasuminasai Nihon....

Am in a business hotel for the first time - the Washington Hotel in Shinjuku.  First off, I was worried for the price that I was getting that it was really going to be quite dodgy (USD 105 per night) but turns out that the exhorbitant price for the Hilton that I was looking at turned out to be the highest and most ridiculous price ever - so travellers take note, USD 150+ is supposedly RIDICULOUS for hotel prices (and you thought Japan accommodation was expensive!)  Katchan says that he could have probably gotten the Hilton for 6000 yen, but I didn't take him up on that.

Still, I am very very happy with the hotel that I'm in.  Everything is absolutely modern, cosy and functional.  There is a massage chair in the room, free LAN internet connection, a flat screen TV, modern drapes and furnishings, a Japanese bathtub, automated toilet, a good toothbrush and comfy bathrobes... what more could a girl want?

I did tons after landing tonight - so much that crawling back into bed at 1230am in the morning seems like quite an accomplishment.  Will update more when I get the time, maybe tomorrow night.  But watch out for photos on flickr coming up soon too!

Posted at 01:11 am by metaphoric
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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Actually quite addicted to a Vienna Teng song (currently my most frequently played):-

I guess that's because of the beauty of the last stanza - I am a constant satellite of your blazing sun.  Somehow I just like the sound of that. :-)

Gravity - Vienna Teng

hey love
is that the name you're meant to have
for me to call
look love
they've given up believing
they've turned aside our stories of the gentle fall

but don't you believe them
don't you drink their poison too
these are the scars that words have carved
on me

hey love
that's the name we've long held back
from the core of truth

so don't turn away now
I am turning in revolution
these are the scars that silence carved
on me

this is the same place
no not the same place
this is the same place, love
no not the same place we've been before

hey love
I am a constant satellite
of your blazing sun
my love
I obey your law of gravity
this is the fate you've carved on me
your law of gravity
this is the fate you've carved on me
on me

And I don't mean to be egoistical, but somehow listening to Vienna reminds me of my music making phase, the bit of me that was singing songs into CDs and burning Christmas time CDs for friends, the bit of me that connected with other people through music, through singing together (yes, karaoke has its uses...).  I miss jamming with folk, I miss that sense of harmony you just naturally feel when you synchronise with someone in song.  Yes, some things are better than ice-cream.

Posted at 01:07 am by metaphoric
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Sunday, May 29, 2005
Precient Dreams

So I thought I was crazy and just dreaming - I was in a beach resort, on the pier.  A sign on the side of the pier near the boat said "Monkey Mia" - in my mind I was thinking, "That's a ridiculous name, I must be dreaming."

To the side, in the clear blue water, a couple of dolphins were circling, almost doing a Flipper impression.  I'd wanted to dive into the water to give them a hug.  A man, blonde, beside me, said something like, "Go ahead.  They don't mind."  So I must've dived in.

It was a vivid dream, not one with much point that I can remember right now, it was a few years ago.  But I remember the sun, the water, and the dolphins.

... Only several years after the dream to realise that there is actually a resort called Monkey Mia in Queensland which is a dolphin conservation area.

Posted at 01:20 pm by metaphoric
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Sometimes the past takes shape, form and learns to grow

I guess sometimes there's no need to run away from past.  Especially when it comes back to stare you in the face in a pleasant form - like in the form of my niece.

It's official and registered, my niece's name, as shown on her birth certificate, is Thessaly.  Her Chinese name is Shi Yi - which means "the fortitude of poetry" in Mandarin.

A lil bit of background - Thessaly was the first serious online nick I've used, since before the time that the Internet was born (in a big way) where I lived.  Some time before there was the Internet, I'd bagged the chat name Thessaly, and it was using this nick (affectionately called Thess for short) that I'd met my first (real) boyfriend of 3.5 years, and kept friends who'd lasted 6-7 years past that.  So it's a name that's quite close to my heart, as you can see.

Thessaly "coincidentally" is the name of a region in Greece, known for its natural magic and mystical qualities.  It is said to be the home of the muses and gods, and still exists as a place in Greece today.  There is a University of Thessaly in Greece, and the capital of Thessaly is Larissa.

Where I got it from was from Gaiman, however.  Thessaly, a character that appears in "A Game of You" is a geeky, bespectacled, brown haired witch hiding a past and a secret magic.  She goes either by the name of Thessaly or Larissa (no prizes for guessing where that came from) and in Gaiman's world, she is running from her past of being one of the last original witches in Thessalonia.

I'm not sure if my brother actually knew that Thessaly was my nick for that long in the past, but as fellow Gaiman fan, I'm pretty sure he did his homework on the origins of the name, and came up with the same reason for liking Thessaly.  It's funny, the image of the bespectacled, geeky witch seems rather consistent with the image of women in my family.  I guess it was more rooted in home for me and for him than we'd ever thought, sharing a consistent thread of memory on our childhood and history.

Posted at 12:08 pm by metaphoric
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Change in Theme Again!

As you can see, I've changed my theme again.  Decided... more white would be good.  I'm right now in love with the colour white and the idea of cleanliness.

Posted at 05:08 am by metaphoric
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me the girl. no more ordinary than the next. if a girl inside my mind then a girl, still smiling, still laughing, still at the peak of spirit. keep being happy, and you'd get to somewhere you think happiness resides.
My Bloginality is ENTJ


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