In My Lifetime

So.

It’s getting to be that time of year again for me! My birthday is coming up. I shall in 2 weeks be 24 years old!

Can you believe it. nearly a quarter of a century on Earth. Born out of no where onto this planet and survived 24 years.

I was thinking the other day about what was significant for me in these years. Or significant for the world, rather.

A lot of significant things have happened in my lifetime that has shaped me and my view of the world. My parents used to tell me that in their lifetime, there were a lot of new things. TVs, computers, phones, cameras, etc.

But there have been new things in my lifetime too. And to add, I have seen things die down in my lifetime also.

  1. The invention of smart phones. Quite recent in my lifetime. But still. Very big. I even remember when the smart phones were still in the pipelines, and the first smart device was an iPod touch. Does anyone remember those? It was the first device on which you could surf the internet, download “apps” to play games and connect with others. Huge! Then came the iPhone and Android.

    But these things kind of came without any big hoopla about them. Now, it’s an everyday item. For everyone. Even children.

    I’m sure in the future, paediatricians will add milestones for babies such as “can handle small electronic device such as phone or tablet” and “can use index finger to open apps on a mobile device” Probably as young as 6 months! Wouldn’t that be something.

  2. Internet/mobile banking. This was something that came up during my lifetime. No longer did my parents need to “go down to the bank” to carry out tasks such as opening a new account, applying for a card, taking out loans, etc. Again, pretty big.
  3. E-readers. Invented in my time. My beloved kindle. Can carry thousands of books at once. Your own personal library. Access to so many books at the touch of a screen. You didn’t need to go down to a library or book store to see the most popular books and decide to buy them. Kindle will suggest the most popular books for you, and give you a free sample to try before you buy! Very cool.
  4. Social networking. When I was very young, there was MSN messenger and Yahoo! messenger. As I grew up, there was bebo, MySpace, and then finally, the pinnacle of it all, Facebook. Then of course there was Twitter and Instagram, etc. But the idea of social networking grew massively in my lifetime. Globalisation was a concept they taught relentlessly in social science at high school. And it really was that. Not only was the world’s newest products, businesses and ideas available to everyone, so are people! The growth of “influencers” on the internet has been exponential in my opinion. You can literally say anything and thousands of people will hear it! People follow strangers and become fans just by watching videos on YouTube or following posts on Instagram. It’s pretty amazing.
  5. Dating apps. While blind dates and online dating websites were there when I was younger, I hear the word Tinder wayyyy more these days. Again, I’m not too sure when it became so popular, but I definitely know it wasn’t this big a few years ago. And that’s pretty amazing too. I guess it falls in the social networking category, but it’s just so weird to me that you don’t have to make calls or go to a social event to meet new people any more. You have to put up a profile and a blurb about yourself (which by the way I’m not even sure would be true for most people. You’ve got to either talk yourself up too much or too little) and a picture, and boom! You find someone who actually wants to spend a whole evening with you! Who would’ve thought! And it honestly works for a lot of people! I have a feeling this will be one of those things my parents will tell stories about in a few years. “Back in my day, we had to go out and meet people. Not meet them on a phone.”
  6. Wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi. I was a dial-up kid. Now, my house has fibre optic powered internet. While I used to wait 5 minutes for my computer to make those weird screechy noises before the Yahoo webpage would even come up, these days I complain that my 1080p movie is not loading fast enough on my big screen TV. It’s so bizarre to think about that. My internet would constantly conk out when I was younger. Not that it mattered much then, given I didn’t use the internet as much as I do now. Now, even moving buses have Wi-Fi because it’s so hard to go a few minutes without being connected to the world.
  7. Cameras. When I was younger, you still had to take your film roll to a photo shop to have the photos developed from photo negatives. Now there are people that don’t understand any part of that sentence. Now there are phones that let you take incredibly zoomed up pictures of the Moon. Now there are phones that have 5 rear cameras. There are DSLR cameras that you can share photos from directly using Wi-Fi. Taking photos and editing them and capturing something stunning and having the photos available instantly has never been easier!
  8. Movies and TV shows and music. When I was younger, you had to go see a movie in the theatres or watch a show on TV no matter what time it aired at. Or go to your nearest video store and get a tape or CD. Now things like Netflix has changed all that. While people still go to cinemas to watch movies, you can still watch new movies online and stream them to your TV

    I also used to be of the time when if an artist released new music, you had to wait in line outside your nearest store to buy the CD, get back home and play it on your stereo, then tell all your friends about it the next day. But these days, you can pre-download songs on your phone, you can take them with you wherever you go, artists tease new music online, everyone experiences it instantly on the go and everyone knows about how good it is straight away. Again, Huge.

  9. Electric cars. This is still up and coming. But Tesla, and Nissan leaf and other fully electric cars! I am still waiting for the day that petrol becomes obsolete. Because I’ve got to say, prices of fuel are just not helping anybody. I am 100% behind this cause.

 

I’m sure I could keep going. The advances in the world just in the last 24 years have been numerous. The rate at which things are changes is quite staggering. And I’ve been alive for all of this.

But some things still haven’t changed. Like listening to the radio, using a microwave oven, using a refrigerator, etc.

And not only in technology.

People still have so much appreciation for the world and it’s people. I guess the idea is still to bring everyone closer together and experience everything around the world. And there’s still so much appreciation for history. Just take a trip to Rome or Paris or Greece and you can see how people marvel at old architecture and things.

I guess if this much has changed in just 24 years, I’m in for a lot more surprises over the rest of my lifetime. That’s a lot to think about it.

But for now, I guess I’ll just try to muddle through the current things in my life and be grateful for what I have on my birthday.

🙂

“Look What You Made Me Do” Thoughts

Ladies and gentlemen! Guess who’s back!! Oops. Shouldn’t say she’s back. Because the Old Taylor is dead. 

Yes that’s right, Taylor Swift has just released a new single before her much anticipated album Reputation releasing in November. I heard this song on the radio the day it released, and I have a few thoughts. But of course, many out there are more vocal than me on Twitter and music review websites that I perused before making this post.

Mostly because when I heard this song, I was super confused. Now, I’m not a huge Tay-Tay fan. I never really have been. When her music came out back in 2006, I wasn’t overly impressed with songs like Love story and Fifteen, etc. I didn’t really see the fancy everyone else did at the time. But before you stamp me as a Taylor hater, I have to say that some of her songs are so realistic and resonate with me in a big way. Like some are so perfectly written in a way that echo my thoughts and feelings about a certain subject completely. And her music is so easy on the ears unlike a lot of other artists out there. That’s what I thought Taylor was all about.

Which is why I was confused by this song. The image I have of Taylor Swift is one with her guitar. And by that I mean, her music is something I appreciate about her. This song, lacks a tune. It lacks music. It’s more of a rhythm strip with words put to it. That was my first thought. I was waiting for a build-up to a massive chorus where there would be a melody matched to her voice. I was sadly disappointed. What I got instead was “Look What You Made Me Do” repeated to a two-beat (albeit, catchy) rhythm. People on the internet are calling it a “half-rap”.

The other thing, is the repetition thing. The words. Like I mentioned before, what I adore about Taylor Swift are the words in her songs. Regardless of what she’s writing about, be it her exes, her currents, Mr. And Mrs. West, etc. She always has a lot to say in her songs in that not-so-subtle way that’s priceless. So naturally, I was looking forward to hearing who did what to her in this song and her thoughts on it. But unfortunately, she has all of 4 lines with just a lot of repetition. There was no story, no chapters, no poetry, nothing really. Just the line “Look What You Made Me Do”  and “I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me” over and over and over. Not ideal Taylor. But there is a line in the middle of the song that I think explains a lot. She speaks! Although what she says is quite chilling. “Sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh.. Cuz she’s dead”

I found this line just scary. There’s no other word. Just scary. And kinda sad I suppose. There wasn’t anything wrong with the “old Taylor”. But hey, everyone changes, so why shouldn’t she? Just wish she could’ve changed without being “dead”.

Anyway this song doesn’t have much in the way of lyrics. The tone is quite angry. It’s quite dark and focused on a bitter side of Taylor. The video depicts her standing above her former versions of herself, obviously transformed into a higher being. It definitely echoes revenge and rage. Which is also quite a step away from the girl-next-door Taylor. All of this would have been fine if the tone was positive such that she’s happy to have changed into this new person, but it’s not. It’s more about blaming someone for it and seeking revenge and looking down upon who she was previously.

I wanted to know who she was aiming this song at. My top choices were Katy Perry (the betrayal runs deep), her former DJ (who dragged her to court unnecessarily) and of course, Mr. Egregious himself, Kanye West.

I didn’t think she’d still be singing about Kanye West, after all, it’s been years since the first drama and many songs since. You wouldn’t think she’d still be hung up on that would you? Apparently though, a lot of people on the internet believe it is Mr. Kanye who yet again had become the star of her song. And it is him who is “starring in (her) bad dreams”. The line about “tilted stage” is apparently aimed at him. Also, from the video, there are a few people who think that she is insulting Mrs. West and her burglary ordeal.

Reviews are calling this song, “petty”, “venomous” and frankly, an insult to her singing career. I kind of disagree.

Yeah I have issues with this song, but I do empathise with her. There isn’t a lot of words, but I kind of get it. It talks about the frustration that someone else pushed you to the point of changing a part of you that you may have actually been happy with. And that’s a sucky feeling. Which is what I think her song talks about. People say she should get over it, etc. But hey, this is how she copes and to be honest, it’s a pretty constructive outlet for her to sing songs about the things that bother her. It’s better than turning into a serial killer (as the undertones of this song seem to suggest).

Taylor has been transforming since her album Red into more serious themes in her music, and I suppose this is the peak. Everyone is foreseeing this album as a revenge set of songs about everyone who crossed her in life. Which is fine for her I suppose because the release of this song has broken a few records already apparently. So there’s no shortage of loyalty among Tay-Tay fans.

But I do kind of miss her earlier sound. They were much easier to replicate on my guitar.

Anyway! Verdict: I’ll give this song a 2/5. I do hope the album has some trace of her old stuff though.

Reputation Taylor Swift.jpg

A Leaf On The Road 

There was a leaf on the road. It was just an autumn leaf. It was dry yet vibrant; its stem holding proud. It was just an autumn leaf… that landed in the middle of my path; lightly, before my feet. My eyes fell on it. It was just like every other autumn leaf; it was unique. It spoke to me. It spoke of summertime. Of hope and happiness. The gentle breeze that would caress it and the winds that challenged it. It spoke of the rains that  cleansed it and helped it grow stronger still. It spoke of its roots. That connected it to every other soul around it. 

It spoke of change. The leaf braved the seasons. It knew not of the changes to come. Only that everyday it was protected under the eternal piercing sun. It spoke of the gentle cooling of autumn. The final change before it was time to let go. No longer would it be held together, no longer connected. It would not know what lay beneath on the earth. But the leaf knew it was time. It let go. It landed in the middle of my path. It told me it’s story. It brought a change within me. But as I knelt down to pick it up, the cool breeze took it away from my reach. 

Change. 

I mourned its absence. The corner of my eyes, my spirit searched for that little piece of change. As I walk the same path everyday. Would I see it again? What feeling would it invoke? Happiness? Hope? The way it spoke to me? Or the way it eluded me? 

Or would it remind me of

Change?

I long for the leaf that lay in the middle of the road.

City change of scene

So today I decided that being depressed about everything was not achieving anything and I just had too many negative thoughts going through my head.

I needed a change of scene. So I ventured out into the city. There’s this place in Auckland city known as Silo Park. I’ve heard many people talk about it and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

It’s actually a rather enchanting place. With a perfect view of Auckland’s own sky tower, the wharf with all the big yachts, the harbour bridge, etc. And at nighttime, it’s perfectly illuminated to give that calm yet vibrant city scene vibe.

This scene for me of course meant I had to take photos! …But being in my current scatterbrain state, I left my lovely Canon DSLR at home safely locked up and was left at the mercy of my crappy phone camera. So do excuse the quality of these photos. Believe me, it was an enchanting place.

Silo sculptureSilo sky towerSilo walkwayViaduct bridge

Basically it was an exercise in angle perspective shooting. Not one of my strong suits in photography. But basically I was going for different ways to see the same thing.

Moral of the story, the walk to this scene made me feel better. Just gotta keep doing more things that make me happy. I feel it’s the only way to keep going. I’ll consider this, my little win for the day. 🙂