I’ve wasted all my daylight

Part of a series of photos I exhibited in August in three cities in Taiwan. I cropped this to be landscape for the sake of this post.

Bad things happen for probably no reason whatsoever, and I need to stop thinking about shit happening to me in terms of me “deserving” it because of karma. A tiny clink against the leg of my chair in the law library, and unbeknownst to me, my torts case book was destroyed, along with the bottom three lines of my moleskine notebook containing the past year’s worth of writing in fountain pen ink. Glass containers for water, eh. I usually stick to plastic, but on the one day that I— well anyway. I feel moronic that I’m copying my highlighting and handwritten notes from my soaked, half illegible torts book into the replacement I bought. I know I should just re-read it all but who has that kind of time when other cases remain completely unread?

The other really shit thing is that my beloved Nikon F3 (pictured above) is currently broken. A really stupid accident led to me being unable photograph myself being in the company of thousands of second hand books. And of course, you always miss what you don’t have, so all of a sudden there’s all these things and moments that I keep wanting to capture on film, but of course I have nothing on hand. My point-and-shoot film camera is also mysteriously out of action too.

The title of this post is from Black Moth Super Rainbow who I had on repeat the other night. Also reflects how I spent Saturday in bed nursing a hangover. Rare occurrence for me, as my friends kindly pointed out. I think that the cigarette some stranger offered us at a bar must’ve done it. I was fine and fun, up until that point.

all those wasted miles, all those aimless drives through green aisles, our careless lifestyle, it was not so unwise, no

It’s been a long time since the days where I was shooting concerts every week and sometimes I really miss it. But I’ve also been enjoying going along to gigs and being able to jump around and get messed up without having to worry about my gear or whether I’ve taken enough photos before I party. It’s mid-semester break at the moment but I’m still going non-stop. Either sleeping non-stop or trying to catch up on semester one, let alone semester two work, and I still haven’t fully committed to a set list for my graduation recital, which I must do, ASAP. The boy is getting admitted to the Bar in a few weeks’ time and later that evening we are going to see Disclosure. That’s going to be the only partying that will happen in September besides my mother’s milestone birthday, haha.

Oh yeah, my hockey team one the Women’s Div 1 Grade! It was only a week ago but seems like much more time has passed. I need to instill some kind of exercise routine if I want to maintain any hope of retaining some fitness. It’s such a shame that the season’s ended just as I was starting to feel completely game-fit, and could keep running and running without feeling the need to get subbed. I also started swimming again a couple of weeks ago, but my body’s really not used to those set of muscles, after replacing swimming with hockey back in 2007. My willpower also sucks and I know I always give up mentally before my body actually feels that tired or sore. It’s just really hard to be motivated and keep going when there isn’t a fast ball flying past me that I need to chase down, or a desire to win and to keep fighting for the sake of a team. But I want to keep fit so I don’t have to start the whole process of fitness from scratch again, come next season. We’ll have a title to defend by then!

so close up your knees, and I’ll close your parenthesis

New York City on Ilford HP5+ 400 B/W film; Nikon F3.

Now that I’m twenty-two, there’s something I’ve been struggling with for a while. I guess I still haven’t really come to terms with my age (it’s too long to insert an explanation here), but this is an awkward stage in a woman’s life, where — see, it’s awkward for me already — let me start over.

Frankly, I feel weird referring to myself as a woman. I realise that I am indeed a woman, and have been old enough to be called one, for some time. It’s not that I associate myself with the word “girl” — I haven’t done so since well before fifteen or sixteen, if I remember correctly — it’s just that the word “woman” comes with so many connotations which I’m not sure I’m ready for yet. For some reason I’ve always felt that a “woman” is someone powerful who, for lack of a more poignant term, has their shit together. I’ll concede that I know people who get the impression that I’m all-confident and self-assured, definitely “powerful” in some way, and have my shit together. But that is just bollocks. In other words, by my own ideal of what a “woman” is, and all the symbolism it carries, I don’t feel like I qualify as one yet. A “young woman” or “young lady”, perhaps, but not quite a full-blown woman. I realise I need to work on this.

Why isn’t there a female equivalent of “guy”? It seems socially acceptable to call a male of any age a “guy”, albeit with varying degrees of acceptability. But I’m not going to call myself a “girl”, especially when I had issues with that word even as a teenager. I can’t seem to find  a solution besides ignoring it, or the practical alternative is to simply dub myself as a “student”. This will work perfectly fine… until I graduate. By then, another set of issues will be triggered, that is, to refer to people by their professions. This is a tangent which I would like to return to, perhaps in another post.

As a side note, I’m a fan of “fake it til you make it” in the confidence department, and I also subscribe to idea that life isn’t about “finding” yourself, but is actually about “creating” yourself. Having said that, I don’t condone any fake-ness and I like feeling that people are “authentic” and aren’t just brand-building, networking, social-climbing schemers. So although I can understand and empathise where people are coming from, I’ve never really enjoyed those bloggers or people in real life who categorise themselves as someone “looking for themselves”. My abbreviated interpretation is: you’re creating yourself and curating your tastes through the means of looking for what you like and love, rather than looking for yourself.

it’s so hazy while you’re breathing

Over the past, seven to ten days, I’ve somehow managed to clock 639 (and counting) plays of Beach Fossils’ new album Clash the Truth on my Last.fm. This isn’t even counting the plays I’ve had on my ipod! Just a classic example of how I obsessively repeat albums, especially when I begin working along to it, I often feel like I need the same persistent playlist to keep going. Last week I was writing my contract law opinion. I’ve got a public law one due next week… but it may be best to obsess over whatever solo I pick as my transcription, as that is due on the same day. Urgh. I’m having a ridiculously hectic time trying to stay on top of having one if not two assessment/test/law opinion/moot-things every single week of August. On the bright side, the boy and I have bought tickets to Beach Fossils and we’ve been having some pretty good Friday nights lately.

Also my hockey team has made it to the Top 4 playoffs for Division 1 and I’m stoked. I finally scored two goals on the weekend, after a long spell of hitting the post or just having shots fly off-target. The other update I have is that this will be the third time my photographs are being shown in an exhibition in Taiwan. This time it will be across three cities instead of just in Taipei. Once I get everything confirmed and sorted, I’ll post a link to my photos!


in the pit there in the smoke, I can never make out your face

Why does it seem like absolutely nobody wants to get picked for sitting on a trial in a jury? I have yet to meet one person who likes the prospect of having to serve jury duty. I’d personally like to experience it before I become exempt in a few years’ time once I’m admitted as a lawyer, but I feel like, chances are, that might not happen. Most of those who get summoned never end up being picked from the jury pool anyway, so I don’t understand why people hate it so much.

Yes, it may be inconvenient, but it’s ironic that society seems to place so much weight on jury trials, without making the connection that it is those of us, as members of society, that juries are comprised of! With the rise of access to news articles on-the-go via smart phones and tablets, “trial by media” is more prevalent than ever. People tend to forget that media outlets only provide a sliver of information that contribute to the whole picture. We aren’t given the same access to evidence as juries are, so it really irritates me when people try to assert that “the jury got it wrong”. People also forget the fact that juries are supposed to deliver verdicts based on the evidence provided to them. They are instructed to decide on the matters of fact, and not to make large inferences based on “gut feeling”. This is unlike how the general public tends to make their minds up about publicised trials, so perhaps it’s no wonder — besides punitive populism [1] — that a lot of people think that “the criminal justice system is a joke”. [2]

So my problem with today’s news, courtesy of the NZ Herald, is this article. I first read the 9am version, and then later, the printed copy, followed by the version which the link leads to. [3] Upon first reading, I wouldn’t blame anyone who might think that the judge was being a bit harsh. Then if you read it again, you might have second thoughts and think that Mr McAllister probably should have just gotten on with it and sworn himself in for jury duty. I’m not sure if that version of the article mentions, but in the 9am one, it states that Mr McAllister and his wife had only returned to the country recently. Therefore, they apparently did not have enough time to make appropriate arrangements for him to get out of his work commitments on time. Which sounded fair, except then there’s this one little sentence that quoted the judge saying, “[n]ot withstanding the explanation given by Mr Jones – the details of which you did not tell me yesterday – I’m still of the view that you failed to serve your civic duty.” The keywords being the part which I emphasised. It’s frustrating that at first glance the judge appeared to be unreasonable by imposing a 10-day jail sentence for contempt of court, when there appears to be an appropriate explanation. But the article doesn’t shed light on the exact chronology of events, or how forthcoming Mr McAllister was, with altering his work commitments.

I’m really unhappy with how this leaves us. I doubt that many people would have their knickers in a knot over this piece of news, but this is a prime example of how misleading it can be, to engage in the seemingly-innocent act of reading the newspaper! This isn’t a murder or child-abuse or other, more serious case, yet this illustrates just how “trial by media” happens. This is exactly how laymen and the general public are led to believe that they are well-informed to draw conclusions about publicised trials. When in fact we are all highly uninformed about the detailed facts of the case, and how things actually panned out. It’s no wonder everyone and their grandmothers make sweeping statements about how the legal system is antiquated or how the criminal justice system isn’t sending the right people to jail. [4]

1. A tangent I won’t cover here. Perhaps a topic for another day. But for the record, despite all those hours spent in sociology and criminal law classes, I’m still on the fence.
2. If I had ten bucks for every time I heard this, I could afford flights to New York again! Also, this is still Amanda’s-rambling-arena, aka blog, so I’m not going to footnote sources (although I probably easily could).
3. I’m really not that studious but I happened to be in a cafe today where the article was lying open on the table I sat at.
4. Granted, sometimes I feel like there is an ounce of truth in this, but that is also another tangent.

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