Randomly and almost spontaneously, I had gone to a concert (alone) at the Middle East nightclub more than a month ago when I was in Boston visiting Karen. To my surprise, the last act Parker House and Theory was one of the best bands I had ever seen. It wasn\’t that they had good music, but the members of the band had a really good vibe going on. And furthermore, they had many of their die-hard fans in the audience, which made it more fantastic.

But now a month later, I have discovered that Colin of the band saw my photo album! Saw the picture I took as I waved my camera wildly over heads. And it\’s surprising because it just came one day after I had put in robots.txt in to block any unwanted robots. But the moment I discovered I got a comment, I nearly um…died! It was just that…world-shaking that someone of a group so popular, so great…would leave a comment in a fan\’s photo album. That\’s how popular acts should really be like…

After being in the masters program for more than a year now, I almost expect that people will answer my e-mail within an hour. Then I get irritated when my e-mail is not answered within 2 hours. Then I realize that the whole world doesn\’t check e-mail every 10 minutes as much as I do. On weekdays.

Listening to Elliot Smith\’s \”Alameda\”, it makes me wonder if he knew what was going to happen a few years later. The song starts out by guitar strumming, a slow steady beat and then his voice appears. A similar quality like that of the Beatles. It has a sad moody quality, recalling a rainy dreary afternoon staring outside in the streets. An emotional quality.

Do people really know how we are like by our art? Many people who knows me often describe me as moody. Others describe me as extremely happy on the outside (my ims filled with excitement, my e-mails with fervor), but as they read my deeper thoughts in my blog and journal, they say that I am too deep, sometimes too deep of sorrow. To them, I am a living paradox of emotional balance. Perhaps, I consider what I write, maybe not here, a reflection of myself.

On Elliot Smith though. It is a tragedy, but I have always wondered what would have happened if someone had stepped in…in these kind of situations. What if someone was just there and had the courage to listen, not advise. It just seems that in today\’s world, people are more prone to tell people what is wrong and what should be fixed that they neglect to listen. I do the same. But from my own personal experience, the downs I have had, the only reason I was able to survive them was because there were people who listened to me vent, cry, and simply mope. So many people nowadays are afraid to upset people that they seem aloof and uncaring. Just a thought.

mp3 blogs, the next wave.

I have the entire SWSX file, over 1000+ songs from the music artists that played at SWSX this year. Yes it\’s all legal. And yet.

Music lifts my mood. Nowadays, I bury myself in music to drive away the stress. To block noise. I trip over myself on the street. Listen to Keane. Feeling a little angsty? Listen to Piebald. Feeling very reflective and introspective? A dash of Howard Shore and Hans Zimmer. Boy rejects me. Endochine will clean that right up.

It\’s hard for me to find new music nowadays. Back in the day, I knew people who would share their music taste. Then as a result, I would discover at least 5 new groups per month. But now it has dwindled. I get bored of my latest favorites (The Arcade Fire, The Wedding Present). I want to hear more of Parker House and Theory. I want more of Scissor Sisters. More of Muse. More of Stereophonics. More of something good. My ipod, aptly named Nyx the goddness of night, wants some loving. Recommend me music!

One of my friends noted how people take things seriously online. The things people say in im are not will not have the same realistic undertones as things said in person. A disconnection effect. This would be the same reason why people don\’t feel immoral when they download music or programs online. In his perspective, not seeing the physical world–the other person we\’re talking to, the actual cd case of music we\’re listening to, the envelope of a letter–results in a lack of seriousness and a presumption that we can escape from what we do online.

I believe it\’s more complicated than that. At least for the social exchange that occurs in im. The entire discussion started because a mutual friend of ours said something online that she later rejected in person. An im is not meant to be taken seriously! she said. But it\’s so much more complicated than that. There are thousand of im conversations exchanged per day. Sometimes for convenience. I certainly don\’t want to run downstairs to talk to my roommate if I can just ask him a question from my room. The ability to privatize your conversation in a large room full of people. It gives us another outlet of conversation. There are serious statements said–a breakup, a death in the family, the beginning stages of relationships, the cry of loneliness. Why would things online be less serious? If anything, it\’s the difference between a joke and statement.

When randomly surfing upon a blog on someone you know, do you tell him or her?

If someone told me that they found my blog, I would feel impressed and extremely proud. Yet, for others, I know it\’s an invasion of privacy. For some people, this becomes an issue of keeping offline relationships and online relationships separate. After nearly six years of successes and failures, I finally reached a relatively stable censorship. I try to stop myself from talking about people. I talk about myself and my observations. I try to say what I would have told everyone. Yet, I would like to know who reads.

For the longest time, I didn\’t know that my roommate in Berkeley read my blog. I had once posted the url in my aim profile, but removed it one month later. Then one day, as I was dropping off something at her desk, I saw my page open on her computer. I was surprised. I had written a little bit about our disagreements. Later, I did confront her about it…and from that, I learned to keep heated things offline.

But since someone inspired me to search for her blog (which I still haven\’t found), these are some blogs I found in the process. Particularly, the professor I have been working for the last two years.

But for all purposes, I must keep this in mind.