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Der Erlkönig — The Erl King, Music by Franz Schubert

Imagine that you’re surrounded by the devil, disturbed by the forces of the darkness. You seek help, and the answer that you get from your peers is that “that is just your illusion, it’s no big deal”.

Then when the darkness finally got you, before you know it, you’re already breathless.

That is the story told by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, adapted by Franz Schubert, Der Erlkönig makes one of the most eerie masterpieces in the history of classical music.

Want some dramatic music for a boring day? Here’s some for you.

Creepy Forest Tree from Second Life


Image @Torley on Flickr. Yes, it’s THE Torley Linden from Second Life, and that’s a tree from Second Life!

The Story

Der Erlkönig speaks of a young boy riding on the father’s horseback as they rushes home to their farm. In the dark eerie night at the forest the boy sees the Erl King, the devil king as he tries to seduce the boy to join him in the darkness. The boy tells the father about what the Erl King is telling him, about the colorful flowers on shore, or the lady who will rock him to sleep, or the girls that will dance with him till the night.

The boy is scared, really scared. He knows that the Erl King is someone bad, and he tells his father about the “promises” that he is giving to him. But the father instead dismisses them as the boy’s illusions, saying that it’s just the rustling of the trees or the wisp of the fog. It’s not the devil, it’s just him, he says.

And the Erl King continues his deadly seduction. When he realizes that sweet talk can’t take the boy, he decided to use force instead. The boy cries as he shouts to his father that the Erl King had grabbed and gotten him, yet too concentrated on his journey the father ignored his pleads.

When they finally reached the farm, the father finds the boy motionless behind him, dead.

The Music

Before we get on to the music, let’s just give you a few pointers on the music. The genius of Franz Schubert had composed the music to be very graphic and lyrical, so even for the beginner classical music listener, it shouldn’t be too difficult to listen and feel. 😉

  1. The song sets in 4 point-of-views, one of the narrator that tells the story, one of the boy, one of the father, one of the Erl King, the devil himself. Listen closely as you will find the boy crying in distress as he is very scared, the father’s deep voice trying to calm down his son while he focuses on the journey, and the Erl King using his sweet voice to coo and seduce the boy.
  2. The repeating fast beats that occur throughout the song from the beginning till the end for the accompaniment is like the galloping of the horse, while the quick runs of the lower sounded instruments are like the Erl King chasing behind. Get picture?
  3. As the singer sings he/she will act according to the characters in the song. You can see, hear and feel the different personalities, even if they’re acted by the same person. Try to find the difference.
  4. Some of the videos may seem pretty old, yes, they may be in black and white, but that doesn’t mean a compromise of quality! Classical music is timeless, while the interpretation 50 years ago may be different with what they do today, it is still pretty good.
  5. If you don’t like the looks of the singers, you can follow the lyrics below, in both the original German and translated English version.

So, are you ready? Take your pick for which version of the music you want to listen by yourself, and let the music take you through to a journey of ups and downs in a few minutes.

Anne Sofie von Otter — Soprano
(Recommended for starters)

Thomas Quasthoff — Bass-Baritone
(Recommended for starters)

Francisco Araiza — Tenor

Eula Beal — Contralto

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau — Baritone

Asato Shizuki — Contralto (Japanese)

Now this one is a pretty special one, the Japanese sure can make something old seem new! Asato Shizuki uses her very own way to sing the song that is totally different from the classical method, if you’re into something new and special, or if you like the Japanese people’s way of exaggerating like what they do in Anime or Manga style, listen to this!

Evgeny Kissin — Piano (Schubert-Liszt Piano Transcription)

Yes, this is a piano version of the song, rearranged by Liszt the crazy piano virtuoso, played by a famous pianist today Evgeny Kissin. Listen to it and see if you can still feel the different personalities in the song. Only this time instead of using different voices to act, the pianist uses different type of piano techniques to differentiate the three personalities, one with a high voice, one with low voice, one with a very sweet tone.

Hilary Hahn — Violin (Schubert-Ernst Violin Transcription)

Considered as one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the violin, Der Erlkönig is squeezed to be played on a violin with all the galloping, the narrator, the boy, the father and the devil. Now that’s a lot of stuff to handle on just one violin, and it’s very, very hard! Do listen to it if you like violin music!…

Blogging

Post-Christmas Blues: It’s over!! Now what??

There are so much hype building on to the Christmas season. The whole world is talking about it, from the TVs to the ads to the radio to the Tweets and of course, all the blogs.

The hype builds itself like a bubble up since a month or two before Christmas, and it grows like a bubble going bigger and bigger.

And when Christmas finally came, POP, the bubble bursts in a day, and what’s left behind is party leftovers, unwrapped presents, an empty wallet, and to many, a void of loneliness and emptiness inside.

So that resulted in a lazy weekend, and even harder Monday blues, and if you’re really into Christmas, a sad month after recovering from the burnt wallet.

Like, ouch. What are we gonna do about it?

Daidomon Menu

Hard Hit After Midnight

Most of our parties began on the 24th, during the Christmas eve. After midnight coundown, it’s Christmas, woohoo!!

Then our parties go on until 25th, the Christmas day. We had fun all day and all night, then when it hits midnight, Christmas is over. Some of us went on partying, but the sad thing is, it all eventually have to come to an end.

Then suddenly reality comes crushing down on us, that Christmas is over. What we’ve been looking forward to for 2 months is all over. As much as we wished for time to freeze and stop at that blissful moment of Christmas, time goes on, and life moves on.

Yup, time goes on, life moves on.

Eating At Daidomon

Spend, but spend wisely

It is said that Christmas is a world consumerism spree. There’s no reason to buy and spend oh so much on Christmas, other than just because, well, “It’s Christmas!”

It has become a trend to buy and shop and spend on Christmas time, because everyone says so. Even for non-Christians people buy and give gifts because that’s what the shopping malls ads and music are telling you to, “It’s Christmas, buy gifts and celebrate now!”

Well, that’s not exactly a bad thing, because giving is a gift by itself, but when you spend, spend wisely. Don’t go for the rush and use up all the cash until you have nothing left after the season, then the post-Christmas depression is gonna hit even harder.

“Oh gosh, I spent that much? I don’t even know!”

Party ends, but life goes on

Grey Camwhoring

The bad news is that as the party ends there’s plenty of crap to clean up, a bad hangover to deal with the next day, or worrying about the sticky make-ups and the oils that stayed in your hair from the barbeque. That adds up even more to the depression.

The good news is that no matter how shitty the party goes, you will still want to do it again next year.

And next year is something to look forward to.

To some of us who lives in a country with plenty of festivals to look forward to (yeah, Malaysia BOLEH!) we have always set our targets a few months prior to the event. It’s Christmas now, and Chinese New Year is already creeping up. Some of us has already made plans on what to do and where to party already.

“Alright, Christmas is over, now what’s the next party?!”

So instead of sulking in what had happened, look forward to the next best thing. Life is a giant playground by itself, so the fun never ends if you know where to find them.

Post-Christmas Blues, We’ll Get Over It!

The pictures from last-night’s party sure are real fun, aren’t they? So cherish them and upload them to Facebook and lets all have a laugh over it!

Laughter is the best medicine for everything, no? 🙂

So, what’s the next plan?! New Year party, anyone? 😛

Daidomon Menu
Grey and Nick
Grey Camwhoring
Grey and Jock Yin
Grey Camwhoring
Nick and Lucas
Eating At Daidomon -- Chicken
Eating At Daidomon
Eating At Daidomon
Stanley And Freddy

P/S: In case you haven’t notice this post is a conspiracy set to post my Christmas dinner pictures. You’ve been conned, wahaha!

Blogging

All About Emoticons! Concise History and List of Emoticons

As a devoted Netizen we use emoticons everyday. Of course you use them too, right? It’s much more easier to just do a 🙂 compared to doing *smiles* or D8< to doing *I’M GODDAMN ANGRY*.

Well I got kinda interested in the world of Emoticons, and as I dwell further into researching about it, the emoticon world is really far bigger than what we think!

There are probably hundreds of emoticons out there, and what we use is just like 3-5% of them!

Yup, the MSN or Yahoo emoticons aren’t just the only emoticons you can find. You can emote even better using your own keyboard!

So come in here to learn a little history about Emoticons, the difference between Western and Eastern Emoticons and have a look at the list of Emoticons around the world!

The Smiley Face Emoticon

It all started during the 1970s

When the Internet was born and all the emails are flying around the world, people eventually felt the need to express themselves better than *OMG I’M SO HAPPY NOW*. There were little support for graphics like that time (yeah, we live in a lucky generation with MSN emoticons!) and all they have were the typographic tools of the keyboard.

So a guy named Kevin Mackenzie at 1979 proposed that the punctuations of our keyboard to be used as means of gesture and facial expression. He wrote that:

In regard to your message a few days ago concerning the loss of meaning in this medium:

I am new here, and thus hesitate to comment, but I too have suffered from the lack of tone, gestures, facial expressions etc. May I suggest the beginning of a solution? Perhaps we could extend the set of punctuation we use, i.e:

If I wish to indicate that a particular sentence is meant with tongue-in-cheek, I would write it so:

“Of course you know I agree with all the current
administration’s policies -).”

The “-)” indicates tongue-in-cheek.

At first Kevin proposed this as a joke, and we don’t really use the “-)” expression to mean “tongue-in-cheek” really today, personally I don’t really see the connection. 😛 But apparently the Net had taken it as a great suggestion and since then, emoticons begin to take a life of its own.

The Western Emoticons — 🙂

So, as for when did the colon, hash and the close bracket become the basis that means “a smiley face” has not been properly recorded in the history of men (aka. Wikipedia), but well Wikipedia did record how the emoticon kinda works.

As the Western language, commonly English or other European languages typically reads from left to right, it makes sense for an emoticon to be registered from left to right too. So you will see the : represents the eye, the  representing the nose and ) representing the mouth. Like, well, this!:-):-(:-D:-/

Well, as lazy Netizens eventually we’ve decided to take off the nose all together, and that leaves us this::D:o:C:>

In case you still haven’t get it, well just lean your head to the left of your shoulder and you should be able to see the faces there. See the eyes there and the mouth doing all the different expressions? Yup, that’s it! 😀

Which leads us to another main characteristic of the Western emoticon, is that they emphasize a lot on the use of the mouth to tell an expression. Without the mouth you can’t really tell what are you trying to emote with just two dots, right? So here are even more variations of the Western emoticons:D:D:>C==[xD>:O>:3<:D

And hundreds of others more! With just a few combination of keys you can make so many faces, now isn’t that the wonders of emoticons? 😀

The Eastern Emoticons — ^__^

Well the Net is a global thing, and global is all about cultures! While the Western people made so many cute faces by looking sideways, the Eastern people preferred to just show a face straight on, without having to tilt the head! This is also partially influenced by the East-asian languages such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese which reads each word as a block, instead of alphabets. So here’s how some famous Eastern-influenced emoticons look like:^_^T_TO_o=_=”

As you’ve noticed by now, the Eastern emoticons uses the eyes to tell an expression instead of the mouth, which is pretty different with the Western emoticons. So if you’re familiar enough with these type of emoticons, we can replace the mouth with a dot or omit the mouth altogether and come out with:T.T@.@*^.^*^^”

Now, isn’t emoticons beautiful!

Even more complex Emoticons

Well, apparently we Netizens are not satisfied enough with these easily created emoticons, and we wanted more, and more! So the king nerds had come up with these beautiful Emoticons that combines the ASCII art. To put it simply, these emoticons uses glyphs that exist in the computer world but cannot be typed on our keyboard easily! So these emoticons are popular in the Japanese forums as they are preset onto a database and all the users have to do is to apply them by pressing a button.

Well, don’t ask me how they did it, you probably know it better than I do!

Japanese Emoticons

Due to the limitations of the blog’s display language I couldn’t show this in a copyable format such as the ones above, sorry! But really, if your computer supports the language, you really can type these emoticons …

Blogging

Hello Stranger, How Are You?

I don’t know about you, but there are so many people in our lives that it seems that we’ve seen them forever, we’ve known them forever, yet we don’t really know them.

This might sound confusing at first, but take a look around you, it may be that guard that keeps your house and office safe every day, that nasi lemak seller that you buy your breakfast from every day, the bus conductor that gives you your ticket, or even that guy or girl that sits at that corner of the train every day.

They’re like the closest strangers, ever.

Sounds romantic and fictional, but it happens. There are so many people around us that we see every day, you may notice the change of their hairstyle, the new shirt they’re wearing, the new bag she gotten, the new phone he had, yet we don’t know even know their name.

They are the closest strangers, ever.

Lonely Man Sitting Against The Wall


Image @Daviddesign on Flickr

It’s so hard to say “hi”

A tweet from @Available had illustrated this pretty well,

“at the supermarket, i’m afraid to talk to the person next in-line, yet on twitter…HOW ARE YOU?!”

Yeah, why are we so afraid to talk to the stranger around us in real life, yet we’re so daring to say hi to just virtually anyone on the Net?

Is it because that we’ve grown so accustomed to the notions that strangers may not be good people, so we would rather not take the risk and say hi at all? Instead, over the net you can say “hi” to anyone because they can never harm you, physically?

But then, isn’t that cold? Can you feel the chill now, the chillness of the urban life?

A word is all it takes to spark

If we’ve taken the first step to say “Hi”, we might have not been strangers anymore.

I remember that when I was young, I used to buy these noodles (Pan Mee) from this vendor almost every day. Eventually the aunties there grew to recognize me, and while we ceased to talk other than closing the deal, it felt warm inside that they actually know what I wanted even before I ordered.

Then one day, I said “Hi” when I arrived at the store. The auntie smiled back, and we sparked a conversation about my school, my studies, her work, her life. And what’s interesting is that she seemed to know so much about me, about how I grew up over the years, when I changed my school bag, when I got a new haircut.

We’ve seen each other every day, all it takes is just a plain “hi”, and we’ve grown to know each other a little bit better. Not so much of a stranger anymore, are we?

Customer relations, they say. Humanity, is what I call it.

Let’s not be Strangers, shall we?

Really, the world needs more warmth. It isn’t that difficult, really, just start with a smile in your face, and say “hi” to them. The person in the same lift with you, the janitor at the corridor, the canteen cashier, the uncle at the bus corner, the girl next class, the boy next department.

Who knows what might spark from the simple “hi”. But whatever it is, it’ll not be a bad thing, it rarely will. Ditch the newspapers or the goddamn news, the world has more good people than you think.

Hello, stranger. How are you today?…

Blogging

“Jingle Home” — Original Piano Improv

Well, following up my last post of original Christmas musics, lets not let it stop and have more Christmas music, shall we? 🙂

Only this time, it’s from me! 😀

I cooked up this crappy lil song on the piano. In case you didn’t notice, it’s kinda a modified version of Jingle Bells, only this is slower, and hopefully sweeter and touchier.

So please, come in and enjoy my Christmas Gift for you. 🙂

Have you been home?

While everyone is in happy jolly Christmas mood, perhaps sometimes it’s nice to sit down and think, what can we do to make our Christmas a really memorable one. While it’s nice to have a real big party or a smashing night out, but sometimes, just a sweet little dinner around the table at home will do.

After all, Christmas is a family celebration. Well, used to be. Shouldn’t we go back and make it one?

How are you celebrating Christmas this year? 🙂

While I know it takes some time for YouTube to load and stream lately, but hey, let it run for a while and give me a chance, will you? 🙂…

Blogging

15 Original Non-Traditional Christmas Songs Videos

Christmas is coming near, and well a blog isn’t a blog without something to celebrate Christmas!

Well for this blog this time, I am going to put together 15 Original Christmas Songs from people all over the net!

These people I find are highly talented and highly creative to come up with these original Christmas songs, something that are very different from the Christmas traditionals that we hear every day.

What’s even greater is that these people had put in that much effort to create content that is original and are actually very good all by themselves to share with the world. The power of Web 2.0!

I’m not gonna bug you with more prep talks, bump in for some sweet (and some funny) original Christmas music!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Image by Lottakind

Mia Rose – What would Christmas be like?

Blue Christmas

“Meet Me By The Mistletoe” – Destenee

Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas

Marie Digby – Bring Me Love

I Don’t Want Nothin’ For Christmas

Straight No Chaser – The Christmas Can-Can

The First Noel, Jingle Bells – Piano Christmas Songs by Roy Zu

Achmed Sings “Jingle Bombs” – Jeff Dunham

Christmas Lights – Jason Mitchell

Fred Figglehorn – Christmas Cash

No Christmas For Me – Zee Avi (Malaysian!! Support!!)

On Christmas

It’s Feeling Like Christmas – Joyce Cooling

Korean Boy Singing Christmas Song (SUPPORT TOO!)

That’s all, folks!

Liked the videos? Which one do you like? 😀

And hey, how are you enjoying your Christmas so far? Been shopping a lot, I suppose? 😉…

Blogging

All About Grey Ang!

Well, its been months since this blog had started, and honestly I didn’t talk much about myself, as much as I wish I do!

To get rid of the anonymity between you and me, I am for once dedicate this post to talk all about me!

Yay, all about Grey! The blabbering bastard that gets high on listening to a guy singing like a girl and talks about sex all the time. Yeesh, what kind of a person is that?

I will not bore you with how many hairstyles I have changed in my life or how many pets I have at home. Instead, I will share with you my interests and thoughts that means a lot to me of who I am.

Well, lets just keep it short, come and learn all about me today!

Warning: Really, really long post ahead!

The Basics First

Grey got a new haircut, like yesterday!

Grey got a new haircut, like yesterday!

By the time I write this post I’m still 22. In 4 months time I’m going to be 23, and oh, time flies! 23 years gone in my life, and what have I done? Catching up with all those porn probably.

It felt like yesterday that I have just graduated from Confucious Private Secondary School and moved on to KBU International College. I graduated from college in Graphic Design, and now I am working in Piradius Design as a web designer.

Doesn’t show through huh? Yeah I think so too. I’m a designer that talks and craps more than design. 😉

Besides that, I am also a choir singer for around 9 years now, and a crappy piano player for around 7 years. I started late in my teens, I’m not greatly talented, but I still enjoy playing it as a hobby. As I always say, if you start now, when you’re 50 years old you’ve probably played for more than 30 years! Isn’t that an achievement? 😀

I love my Chinese and English

My mom thinks that the whole family are bananas who can’t read chinese, so it’s a wise thing to send me to a chinese secondary school. I appreciated that, of course! The Chinese culture is fascinating, 5000 years worth of culture is not something that you can feel in matter of minutes. There are so much Confucianism and Taoism values that I had absorbed and learned to appreciate today.

Many people make the “Confucianism is confusing” joke. Well it’s funny a little, but Confucianism is a very highly respected set of moral values to the Chinese. Go read about it and you will see why, it determines almost 80% of all about Chinese culture today, from values in filial piety to relationships. Mostly everything.

Grey is so desperate he'll eat anything. Really!

Grey is so desperate he’ll eat anything. Really!

Then there’s the English world that I’ve come across in college. Thanks to the banana friends and the English nature of the course, I had to brush up my English language skills like from zero to hero. Well not really hero now neither, but you get what I mean. 😛

My banana friends had introduced me to the world of the Western culture. They listened to Rihanna and Lady Gaga, they watched Heroes and Harry Potter, they followed American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance… None, and I mean none of these I have ever come across during my secondary school life. And I love them for doing so. I was a total Taiwan and Hong Kong follower back in secondary school, now I guess I’m a global guy.

An Open Mind

I'm in Second Life! If you're in, look me up, the name is Dadaist Gears. ;)

I’m in Second Life! If you’re in, look me up, the name is Dadaist Gears. 😉

A mix of both worlds had opened my eyes to many things indeed. And with a mix of a third world it really got me going to have the urge seeing the world even more.

What third world, you say? It’s Second Life. For a time during my college I was so free and I came upon this online 3d world community/game thing. And I was hooked, very hooked. There are so much cultural diversity in there that you can never explore it all. I tried, and I was amazed.

Second Life showed me that the world is not as simple as what the media wants us to see. There are so much other subcultures that we can never know from the TV or radio. There are the furries, the Goreans, the steampunks, the goths, the adult scenes, the nekos. There are so much room for experimental developments, so many groups to look into, so wide the spectrum that I was overwhelmed initially.

Then it came to me that the world is really much larger than what we think it is. There are so much to see, so much to learn, the only way to get through all of it is to embrace the differences.

Perhaps this is why I am so open to talk about just anything, because I have a real high threshold for shock factor and differences.

Classical music, the alternative music today

Whenever I tell people that I like classical music, they will give me the look of detest, “Oh that’s some boring crap!” or the trying-very-hard-to-feel-the-same, “Oh I like classical music too! The violins and what’s that thing again… flute? Yeah, the blowy thing. I like that.”

The thing is that many young people don’t listen to classical music anymore, because it is difficult music. It is harder to relate to compared to those disco beats or …

Blogging

The Swimming Instructor @ KLpac

There’s always some magic about theater plays that you can never catch in the movies.

Perhaps it’s the intimacy of the stage, that you feel so close to the actors and you can relate to them so deeply as the play progresses.

Perhaps it’s the script and plot, that it is so concise to portray a story with the bare minimum, each dialogue is so well written that you get absorbed without the need for close-up cameras.

Perhaps it’s the environment and atmosphere, where the lighting and music are carefully cued and arranged that it makes you feel much deeper than watching people on screen.

Whatever it is, I’m a sucker for theater plays lately, and The Swimming Instructor is sucking me deeper into the whirl of theater arts.

It has everything, great actors, great script, carefully chosen yet minimal props made this intimate play at KLpac’s Pentas 2 a marvelous success.

Hours had passed since the end of the show, and I’m still lingering on each scene, trying to catch the layers of plots and morals embedded in every moment.

The Swimming Instructor

The Swimming Instructor

90 Minutes Of Sexuality Crisis

It was stated very clearly at the door notice, that this play is ADULT THEMED lasting 90 minutes without break.

And they really mean it. The 90 minutes flowed seamlessly without any breaks, intervening between our three heroes and heroine on the topics of love, friendship, sex and sexuality. The play is written by Desmond Sim, and he’s a genius to mash everything together into an intimate yet humorous play that explores the values mentioned with a very human touch.

He is a swimming instructor that is an object of affection by many, including this guy and this girl. He is floating in a pool of his past, torn apart and confused by a surprise, a change, a bad decision. And he tries to find an answer to stop floating in the past.

She is an aggressive rich little princess that wants things her way. She is loud and forward, actively pushing and making chances to get near to the swimming instructor that once helped her in the past. She does everything to get him. She wants him oh so badly.

He is a smart and intelligent guy that follows plans and makes decisions systematically. When it comes to love when systems and intelligence doesn’t work, he’s afraid to make a move. He sits and waits, and lets fate decide if the chance will ever fall on him.

Yes, there are homosexual elements involved. Gays, start marching! 😛

The Swimming Instructor

The Swimming Instructor

Chances And Decisions

“Even if there is one chance…One chance that you can love, you must take it. Because the little chances we waste can change our whole life” -Guan, The Swimming Instructor, taken from Dustyhawk

Some people pray very hard and wait for chances to come on them. Some people fight very hard to get the chances. Some people did not expect the chances to come at all.

But what would you do when you have a chance, and how do you know if you’ve made the right decision?

As humans, we are prone to making bad decisions. And by chance, by vigor or by fate we will eventually be presented with crossroads that we’ll have to pick a route that will change everything. It’s devastating to be forced to make a big decision in a short spur of time, or even in split seconds.

You will never know if you’ve picked the right way, but one thing for sure, if you don’t grab the chances in your hands the moment it falls, the chances are you will regret it later.

What, do you expect to read more about the story here?

Well, fat chance! Go watch the show and find out yourself, hey, there are still 2 more shows coming up, you can still make time to catch them!

The Swimming Instructor
12 December 2009 (Sat) 8.00pm,
13 December 2009 (Sun) 3.00pm
RM38, free seating @ Pentas 2, KLpac

Find out more about the show at the Facebook Event Page here, or read about it directly from one of the actors himself, Niki Cheong over here and here!

If you’re into theater arts, if you love a good show, if you like some sexual innuendos, if you like to see a half-naked hunk on stage, if you love a lot of good laughs… Too many reasons to get your ass there!

Go and be enlightened, like me! 😀

P/s: If you really want some spoilers on the plot, here’s the place to go! You’ve been warned! 😉…

Blogging

Loneliness — The Social Virus That Spreads

While this may sound outrageous at first, but study shows that loneliness really does spread like a virus. When you’re lonely, you’re not only lonely yourself, people around you will feel lonely too.

And if that keeps up, it’s not a good thing because loneliness, instead of making more friends to care about you, makes friends leave you.

Find out why.

Lonely Girl

Lonely Girl

Loneliness Makes Others Lonely Too

I first read about this on Whichlaneareyou.com, which Marcell discusses “Is It Loneliness Is Contagious“. And yes, after reading it and this study by University of Chicago, I am convinced that loneliness is really, contagious.

Let’s take a real world example. One day a friend comes to you and tells you that he is lonely. He will start explaining why he is lonely, and he will start giving you real world examples of how others make him lonely. He will start to count every fault that people make, every little detail that people do that makes him feel lonely, every single glare, single grin, or even a single hand wave is enough as a “hint” for people is trying to isolate him and make him lonely.

It’s so natural that when you’re lonely, everything is against you. He is rationalizing everything to be against him, even if they are not.

And you listen so intently to his speculations and you actually start to believe that it is true, perhaps out of sympathy. You begin to let your rationale down. Then part of you will start to think, maybe what he said is really true. And maybe all those glares, those grins, those gestures do mean that they are isolating him.

Then you start to get away from those “friends” of him because you think that they are bastards to make your friend a loner. You’re left with your loner friend. He continues to be a loner, and eventually you’re getting lonely too because you have lesser and lesser friends.

And eventually you get sick with your loner friend, you’re left with yourself.

Loneliness is a very scary bug, isn’t it?

The Loneliness Bug

A lonely person is likely to lose touch with another person, who in turn gets cut off from others, and both end up on the fringes of a social group.

“A lonely person who anticipates others are going to act negatively toward them finds evidence in their environment for that, partly because they anticipate it and partly because they elicit it,” Cacioppo told LiveScience.

They found loneliness is catchy with three degrees of separation. So a person’s loneliness depended not just on his friend’s loneliness but also on his friend’s friend and his friend’s friend’s friend. Participants were 52 percent more likely to be lonely if a person to whom they were directly connected (one degree of separation) was lonely. For two degrees of separation, the number drops to 25 percent and 15 percent for three degrees.

Over time, lonely individuals become lonelier and transmit such feelings to others before severing ties. “People with few friends are more likely to become lonelier over time, which then makes it less likely that they will attract or try to form new social ties,” they write. Such friendless individuals ended up on the outskirts of their social networks. –Excerpts from Lifescience.com

Loneliness Is An Attitude, Not A Personality

I admit that I was kind of generalizing how the loneliness bug works there, it’s actually much more complex than that. But you can be sure that loneliness is a very scary social state. It doesn’t only make yourself feel bad, it makes the people around you feel bad and sad as well.

I personally had a lonely fit myself a few months ago. I was feeling so lonely and so depressed with myself, I kept myself to myself so much, I wouldn’t answer any calls, wouldn’t go out with anyone, locked myself at the room and made everyone around me worry. My loneliness made them feel lonely too as they lacked my company, and they too soon become depressed. As soon as they are depressed they don’t care less about me anymore, because they’re too depressed to care about me.

Then I got out of my loneliness bug and I started to build back the relationships. I apologized for what I’ve done (which is actually not doing anything) and we’ve gained back the trust gradually. I’ve gotten my positive outlook in life back by keeping myself focused on goals and tasks in life (one of them is this blog!), and I kept myself busy with challenging but happy things.

I got myself out of the loneliness bug and everyone around me is much happier.

Nobody is a born loner. Loneliness is an attitude, not a personality.

Think twice before feeling lonely!

Next time, when you feel lonely, think twice! Are you really that lonely, or are you just feeling depressed? If you’re depressed, get some chocolates, watch some movies, talk to friends, get yourself happy! You have plenty of friends, trust me, and they’re all wiling to be there for you, any time!

If there are actually some ass holes that tries to ruin your life, it’s their loss, not yours! So just get over it, and stick with the better friends. You’re never lonely, you just haven’t reach out to the good ones yet. 🙂

Don’t let the loneliness bug catch up to ya …

Blogging

How do I get that thumbnail avatar image thing on comments??

Are you a regular blog readers that comment on a lot of blogs, especially WordPress blogs (like Caramelz.my), and wonder why some people has some cool looking avatar image while you don’t?

I used to ask that question too! Having a profile image of yourself (avatar) wherever you go to any blog or forum and comment is pretty cool, right? You don’t have to upload one each time, and it makes your comment instantly recognizable!

For Blogger users, the avatar for the comments on Blogspot blogs comes from the profile image of your Blogger profile. But since WordPress blogs are growing in such widespread popularity, a smart guy created a system that recognizes an avatar to be displayed based on the mail you’ve typed in for your comments on any blog or forum, especially WordPress.

The smart guy is called Tom Werner, and the system is called Gravatar.

Dubbed “Globally Recognized Avatar”, Gravatar is the system used by most WordPress blogs to get a thumbnail image of yourself, your Avatar! Simple 3 minutes sign-up, and you can get an avatar like mine! Woohoo!

How does Gravatar work?

My Gravatar!

My Gravatar!

The idea is fairly easy. After you signed up on Gravatar, you will be able to assign an image thumbnail to an email account, so whenever you go comment on a blog or anywhere, and if the blog or anywhere supports Gravatar, it will retrieve the image from the Gravatar site and uses that as your avatar.

What’s more, you can have a number of different emails in one account, so you can actually assign a number of thumbnails to different emails, and when you use different emails to comment on different places they will appear as what you’ve assigned!

Lets say you got an email for the normal cheeky cheeky blogs, and you want to display an innocent image of yourself over there. Then you have an email specially for the kinky porn sites and you want to show your sexiest face there. Yurp, you can!

You can also assign the rating for your Gravatar for G rated to PG, R and X rated. Well, you know what they mean right? If you’re on a site that does not allow X rated Gravatar and you used the email accidently, Gravatar will automatically look for a G rated avatar that you’ve assigned to be used. Thank God!Gravatar

So how to I get started

Well, as usual, lend me 3 minutes of your time and let this introduction video from Gravatar to show you how it works, and how to register an account.

Yurp, registration barely takes 5 minutes, and you will get an avatar image to be used everywhere! Well, at least for most WordPress blogs. 😉

If you got a Gravatar already but curious on how do you intergrate it to your blog to display the Gravatar of your readers on their comments, read here! Supports WordPress, Movable Type, Joomla, Drupal, and yes, even Blogger!

But why am I promoting Gravatar all the sudden?

Well, I’m an avid blog hopper, and I visit a number of blogs. Many times I see that the Gravatar on the comments are the famous grey anonymous guy for many commentators, so I guess a lot of people still don’t know about this service yet! It is a very useful service to get you easily recognized on many of the blogs, so why not get one?

In case you’re wondering, yes, the comments on Caramelz.my is Gravatar enabled, so if you want to see a picture of yourself other than the grey anonymous guy, consider getting a Gravatar account.

Actually, it’s my secret plot so that I can know how handsome and pretty my readers are who comments on this blog, but don’t tell anyone, okay?

I hope to see less grey commentators on my blog soon! 😀…

Blogging

L’heure exquise — Philippe Jaroussky

If you could please, spare 3 minutes in your very busy daily life and come in to listen this very sweet song I’m about to share, I will be very grateful.

I came across this song today which I am very eager to share with you the beauty of it.

L’heure Exquise“, which translates to “The Exquisite Hour” in French, is a late 19th century French Melodie written by Reynaldo Hahn.

Don’t let the date scare you. In fact till today, there are rarely melodies as sweet as this. Simple, yes, very, but very, very sweet.

Spare 3 minutes of your time for me, will you?

L’heure Exquise

Phillip Jaroussky is a famous French countertenor, which is a male singing in the higher register resembling the female voice. He sang this song in his new album Opium, which features French melodies of the 19th Century Belle Epoque.

This song, “L’heure Exquise”, is composed by Reynaldo Hahn. He is a late Romanticism French composer who captures the essence of the La Belle Epoque. Belle Epoque is the golden era in France in the late 19th century. It was a time when an economy burst followed by the British Industrial Revolution that sent Europe to a high surge of development. Entertainment was highly sought for in this era, so does an demand for individuality.

If you listen carefully, the song is so sweet and simple, it’s as if the singer is holding to the lover so close there’s no need to shout, just simple whispers are enough to say a simple thing, “lets just enjoy the moment under the moon, this quiet night”.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

To think that Hahn wrote this when he was 15. He must be a love saint.

And Jaroussky made it even more beautiful with his wonderful voice and excellent technique.

Let’s just keep ourselves focused on the music, shall we?

The White Moon

The White Moon

“L’Heure Exquise” Lyrics

French Lyrics:
La lune blanche
luit dans les bois.
De chaque branche
part une voix
sous la ramée.
O bien aimé[e]…

L’étang reflète,
profond miroir,
la silhouette
du saule noir
où le vent pleure.
Rêvons, c’est l’heure.

Un vaste et tendre
apaisement
semble descendre
du firmament
que l’astre irise.
C’est l’heure exquise!

English Translation:
The white moon
shines in the woods.
From each branch
springs a voice
beneath the arbor.
Oh my beloved…

Like a deep mirror
the pond reflects
the silhouette
of the black willow
where the wind weeps.
Let us dream! It is the hour…

A vast and tender
calm
seems to descend
from a sky
made iridescent by the moon.
It is the exquisite hour!

Blogging

Net Quotes Of The Day 3

I have always believed that simple words or quotes, by anyone on the net, shows the zeitgeist of our time.

No matter how funny, how sad, how philosophical, how boring, how exciting, how stupid, how smart these quotes might seem to be, they do mean a thing. It might seem to be meaningless at first glance, they might not mean a thing to you, but when you’re looking at it, closely, how many things are happening around us, all of us, each second, each minute?

“there are many variables to success – reactive, manipulatable and constant. You may not control all, but you control one variable: yourself.” — Aldric Tinker

“Ideal drivers – road etiquette = Malaysian drivers.” — KLue Magazine Oct ’09

800px-Perodua_Kancil

“I shit also no time ah… have to shit while I sleep and eat while I shit.” — Edward Chong

“The point is that education doesn’t work by teaching you things, it actually works by giving you the impression that you had a very good education, which gives you insane sense of unwarranted self-confidence, which then makes you very very successful in later life. So welcome to Oxford, ladies and gentlemen.” — Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

“Commercial is everywhere because when things grow? they need funds and you and me are not willing to pay for it.” — reptilezsweden, comment found on Rory Sutherland’s video

“i don waNT make up jor~~ the skin will looked older and we will stop producing collagen if the foundation keep on blogging the pores……because the skin cannot breathe….the only solution is to use …* SKIN FOOD BB CREAM*!!!!! wahahhaaha” — Ellie Low

“- These wounds won’t seems to heal, this pain is just too real, there’s just too much that time cannot erase. I’ve tried so hard to tell myself that you’re gone, but though you’re still with me, I’ve been alone all along -” — Desiree Wong