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September 28, 2005

Happiness Burns Blue

I feel the need of expression, but a paucity of time and imperfect socialization abilities constrain me. The emotion, unable to escape at it's desired velocity, burns it's blue flame within me and threatens to consume all. And yet, when flourishing in lesser quantities, the flame serves to keep one at the perfect temperature while also warming those closest to you. I rush, rush to open the vents of happiness and love.

Posted by Trevor Savage at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2005


Today I participated in a name meaning meme that passed by my part of MySpace. The meaning which the website gave me said, among other things, "You believe in putting one hundred per cent into all your activities of which there are many. " The second portion of this seems exceedingly true; I frequently feel that I have too many activities. From knitting to reading to uking to programming to writing poetry to blogging to crewing to gaming, I often have trouble using my time to the fullest and maintaining all of my hobbies.

My musical activities have especially suffered; I have trouble getting enough time to regularly practice on my ukulele, which is unfortunate. And when I don't play it, I forget how fun it is to play it, making me less likely to start practicing again. And beyond practicing, there are many things which I need to learn; I have a nice chords book I need to study, and I also need to get a good music theory book to pour over.

Many of my other hobbies aren't so important or necessary, and can survive a dry period. I've neglected my copy of the second volume of The Sandman, and I need to read more on Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, but those I can pick up any time. Likewise, my knitting is easy to stop and resume; other than a few pieces of terminology and such, there isn't much to relearn. In more skill-based areas like writing though, missing a few months of practice can cause your ability to dull, and it certainly won't help the ever-necessary sharpening. To become better at something, you must practice. But practice becomes difficult when you have so many things to practice.

For the moment I've pretty much dropped programming altogether. I still quite enjoy it, but now that I've gained a social life, not to mention a number of other recently-acquired hobbies, there's less time for it. I'm not too worried about it though; I doubt I'll forget much, and when it comes to learning there's always college. There aren't too many other hobbies which I can forget about though; I still want to knit, I definitely still want to play my ukulele, and movies and books are too delightful to forget about.

The solution would seem to be to cut out the meaningless fat which wastes time without much gain; namely, to cut down on the less-informative web surfing. The internet certainly can't be cut out altogether, as there's far too much to learn from it. But I think from now on I'll be making more of an effort to ensure that my time online is well-spent; the next time I'm just looking for something to do I'll make sure to whip out my ukulele and strum some chords instead.

Posted by Trevor Savage at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2005

As night's silky sheet falls upon the land
life, poetry

As night's silky sheet falls upon the land
waves of sound echo through the world.
Friends' songs of happiness flow from hand to hand
and musical strains of pure emotion are hurled.

All that is good is let loose to roam
as all the evil is driven back home.
The heart is free from ache;
all drink in the musical sake.

Naught is left but happiness.

Posted by Trevor Savage at 9:47 PM | Comments (1)

September 6, 2005

Disconnected from the Mainstream: Seniorship and Patriotism

Woo! And thus the first day of school is over. I think it's slowly starting to hit me that I am a senior, although I'm always a bit out of touch with that kind of thing. After all, It doesn't really feel any different... Sure, we have an air conditioned lounge and it's fun to flout such power, but we aren't really that much more special than the other grades.

The teachers and administration claim that we have some great power of "leadership" that we must now exercise. I'll certainly agree that we have some such power, but they overblow it; we don't magically have this power because we're seniors, we have it because of our positions near the top of the social totem pole. And this power doesn't automatically work on everyone at the school; it only works on people who are climbing the same social totem pole and who have respect for us.

I suppose I'm just a bit disconnected from the situation because I've never wanted to impress any of the past seniors in a bid to increase my standing. I can certainly imagine some of the current underclassmen changing their dress or actions to try to fit in better with the "popular" group, however; and thus I suppose that those on the totem pole usually deemed "popular" do indeed have a rather mighty ability to lead their younger schoolmates.

Speaking of feeling disconnected, I don't really sympathize with the notion of patriotism which runs throughout America's veneer. Our new Government book at school speaks of patriotism in flowery terms, claiming that it's a quality which good citizens posses. Personally, however, I feel great loyalty and love for the principals on which the founding fathers based the country, not for the country itself.

The country is but a fallible beast, capable of being deceived and of deceiving. The principals on which it was based, however, are immortal and infallible; although a mortal rendering of them may fall or become tarnished, they will always remain to guide the next generation closer to their ideal.

Posted by Trevor Savage at 6:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 4, 2005

School Marches Closer

School's marching ever closer, and it's getting for too close for my well being if you ask me. And yet, there are reasons for which I am eager for it's return.

Perhaps the foremost thought on my mind, however, is about colleges. For, being a senior, in a few months I'll have to have my applications in the mail. At first my sole thought was that the information to be considered was completely overwhelming, and that comparison was impossible. Comparing individual aspects and student reviews, however, has proved informative and now I'm on slightly firmer ground. I still tend to waffle though, and I need to do more research in the next few days.

The senior project is another potentially stressful event, but I'm not worried about it. Every senior has to complete a series of computer-based documents (a Powerpoint, database, spreadsheet, etc) on a subject of their choosing. I already have an interesting subject (PDAs), however, so as long as I find plenty of information online I should be set.

The school year's classes themselves are also in a position to provide stress. However, looking over my schedule, there seem to be far too many interesting or semi-fun classes to worry about schoolwork. Even the classes which are less attractive are so mostly because they'll probably involve a bit more work than the rest. And how can you complain about classes when you have a study hall and access to a senior lounge?

But lying beneath all these dooms and glooms, like a nice fluffy pink carpet, are socialization and friends. Lying on this carpet, watching the sky, and feeling the waves of life go by; for this I am happy that school will soon begin.

And there is another benefit as well; with more varied inputs and experiences being pumped into my head I will not find it so difficult to conjure up a topic on which to blog or write poetry about. My mind will cease to stagnate in the ever-changing but calm waters of it's own summoning and will instead be tossed about on the rapids of others' thoughts.

And so, even if all of the potential deaths mentioned above come to pass, in the end I think I'll be happy once school has commenced anew. Friends and an increased flow of thoughts through my mind will cary me through to the end.

Posted by Trevor Savage at 9:00 PM | Comments (0)


I've been infested by the MySpace bug. It's quite amazing how well the site's been able to permeate real life; it seems that all my peers have either already been assimilated or are being nagged to get with the program.

Although the site seems a bit unprofessional both at times (such as when you set your url; the two confirmation popups are rather oddly written), it does provide a useful service; that of interfacing the real world, the online world, and the world of your mind.

The layouts which it uses for the user pages aren't entirely pleasant, however. The rest of the pages serve their purpose quite well, but the user pages give off the impression of being overly stuffed with links and information. The MySpace URL box, for instance, seems completely useless since the url should, indeed, be in your address bar already. And even if this address had to be included, it seems that a better place for it would be in a well-hidden link, perhaps on the user's name.

The "Contact" box just above the URL box also annoys me; it provides a great number of options and the images it uses prop the left hand bar open. It seems there must be a more elegant way of designing it; perhaps move it to the right hand column, which is wider, or maybe put the options (or most of them) in some sort of DHTML-ish menu.

While I'm complaining about the left hand column, the information to the right of the user's picture could be streamlined as well; to start with there are too many line breaks. The state could be pushed up against the user's sex/age, making the list of info look less randomly placed. Perhaps, however, the extraneous line breaks are eliminated if you specify all the information which MySpace asks you for. If this is the case, the code simply needs to be more adaptive. This need for adaptiveness is also shown with the odd placement of BOTH the "Online Now!" icon AND the last login date. If the user's online, I think we realize that they must have last logged in not too long ago. The login date just clutters the interface.

Moving on to the right hand column, the box which indicates that the user is in your extended network seems a bit too prominent. Sure, it's important, but I don't think it's quite that important. I think it might look better if they toned down the box's spacing a bit, removed the border, and maybe underlined the text somehow to make it stand out a bit. As it is, however, it uses up too much of the all-important screen real estate.

The blog links also annoy me. They look perfectly fine when the user has a blog (although they might do with their own header, like the rest of the sections in the right column) but they shouldn't be displayed at all if the user doesn't have a blog.

The blurbs and comments sections look nice, but the friends section is a bit annoying; I think the "View All Friends" link might be integrated with the text which displays the number of the user's friends, much like the comments section does. This seems to point out another overarching flaw in the website; it isn't completely consistent. Two sections, back to back, have text and links which preform the exact same function and yet each is written in a slightly different way!

In conclusion, MySpace provides an excellent service and appears to have become a remarkable success, melding the world of reality with cyberspace. However, the user pages which are so important to the site are not exactly the shining lights of elegance. But oh well; It's time to break out CSS, Javascript, Greasemonkey, and Platypus I suppose. And hey, they have "Agnostic" as an option for the religion field; how can I resist that?

Posted by Trevor Savage at 12:15 AM | Comments (0)