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I seek chemical means to enter a new state of mind

It’s the end of the first semester for 2004 and I’m heading into the winter break. It lasts for about a month before I head back for my second semester. This means I have about a month of free time to do non-university related stuff. Ever since I started my second year, my social life has been relegated to lower status in favour of university work. I suppose it’s a good thing in that it forces me to do something constructive with my life. And it does make me appreciate my free time a lot more. Next time, though, I won’t overload my unit quota. It’s just too much work otherwise. Although I’d like to think that what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger, I wouldn’t want to go through another semester like the last one. Most of the semester was fine, it was just that all of the major assignment work was packed into a four-week period. Not only do I get stressed, but I lose sleep as well. For that month of hard work, I’d been getting into the routine of sleeping in the afternoon, waking up around 7pm and doing work until midnight, having a coffee to keep me awake at about 10pm. Of course, because of this, I don’t get to sleep until about 6am, getting three to four hours of sleep before I have to wake up again for morning classes. I’m not going to bother normalising my sleeping patterns to match everyone else’s. My average day is once again going to be made up of equal parts day and equal parts night.

I’ve just realised that even in the depths of my most stressful morass of assignments, the amount of coffee I consumed was a piddling amount. And there I was wondering to myself if it were possible to abuse a drug like caffeine. Turns out that I need to have drunk about five mugs a day before the coffee consumption starts to affect me long-term. My one, maybe two (and on rare occasions, three) mugs a day is insignificant, not even worth noticing. But I like what it does to my mental reasoning and imagination. I miss my daily dose of caffeine in the afternoon when I’m sleepy from an early rising and a hard day at university and then getting knocked out into a two-hour nap, waking up with an amazingly clear mind (mind you, it’s usually the case now that I have my afternoon nap and wake up feeling wasted from the caffeine dehydration; one of the times where I wake up more tired than what I felt when I went to sleep). Ever since university started, ever since high school finished, I’d not had the time to indulge my thought processes in this ritual. It’s amazing how the absence of something can make it all the more significant once you have it again. I’ve been relishing my leisure time so far, doing inconsequential things like constructing my new webpage, playing computer games, composing drumnbass and jungle music. I’m actually starting to play around with my music again after so long.

My new-found spare time allowed me to go through my regular two-month tradition of bleaching my hair blonde again. The Korean housemate noticed my new hair colour, and was amused. “Cute!” she exclaimed. Not quite the word I’d use to describe it, but I was amused myself at her reaction. This bleaching ritual has become such a regular occurrence that my friends don’t even notice anymore that my hair had gone from a blonde cap with dark sides and back to an all-over orange blonde. I’m just waiting for the day where I leave my hair ungelled so the blonde effect is lighter, and hear someone’s exclamation of surprise. “Wow! You’re blonde. Very blonde.”

I’m using this winter break to expand my social circle into the second degree of association, to include people who dress to kill (regularly) and who seem to have more interesting lives than I do at the moment. I’m using it to jump-start my dying social life and ratchet my self-esteem up a few more notches. One of the first items on the agenda is to restart my weekly Latin Dancing classes. My ex-dancing partner has not been idle: she’s been sending out accomplices to see which studios offer decent classes which aren’t made up of dodgy middle-aged men looking for teenage female dance partners. I’m leaving the organisation up to her. If a decent studio can be found, it’s going to be a pretty cool group that we’ve got organised to accompany us. Also on the agenda is this huge party coming up. I’ve been asked to mix some tunes together for one of M²’s parties this winter. One of the biggest parties of our social group, this annual event usually comprises a few bands, a couple of DJs and firedancing. I might do up some dance remixes of my tracked songs especially for this event. I can’t think of a better opportunity to get my music recognised.

It’s also about this time that I tend to go out to Northbridge, visiting the nightclubs and bars. My circle of friends don’t do this in summer for some reason. I suppose the winter cold keeps most of the unsavoury characters in Perth off the streets. Besides, the clubs are heated. You don’t notice the cold when there are about 200 people in the same room as you are. It just gets too uncomfortable in summer when one comes out of a hot nightclub into a warm night.

I really should expand on the type of music I buy. My cd’s are all nothing but club and trance songs, and about 90% of the mp3s on my computer are also club and trance. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if one’s taste in music runs in the same vein as mine, it can get a little disheartening when I want to listen to some other genre of music and find very little selection available.

The strangest thing happened out of the blue the other day. I was sitting in the main grass court area of my uni campus eating my lunch in the autumn sun as I normally do. This girl appeared from nowhere and asked, “Hey. Can I have a look at your shirt?” I was wearing my Many Moods of an Alien t-shirt with various alien heads with the same facial expression, and a different emotion underneath each head: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Angry” and so on. I stood up while the girl had a quick look, reading the words on my t-shirt. “Many Moods of…” She then burst out laughing. “Ha ha! I like that!” And was off. That was it. Looking back at it now, I suppose the strangest thing was that it seemed perfectly normal at the time for a total stranger to ask to view one’s shirt and then walk off. But the general atmosphere at Murdoch is pretty much like that anyway. It’s so laid-back and comfortable that there’s hardly any awkwardness at all. In fact, there’s a marked difference in the atmosphere at Curtin Uni to Murdoch’s. I visit the former’s campus ocassionally to use its library resources (recently I was chided by my workshop partner for not knowing my way around the Murdoch Library catalogue, despite having grasped the nuances of Curtin Library’s), and there is almost zero interaction between Curtin students. Curtin has a bigger student body, almost three times the size of Murdoch’s, but it seems so ambiguous and lonely.

I’ve shut down my personal site for now, and I’m going to open a new domain. I figure it’s about time that I made a name for myeslf, and I’ve moved servers from Sha’s to Jimmy T’s. I’ll be advertising the site once it reopens.

Posted by Dan @ 07:20 AM AST [Link] [1 Comment]

Replies: 1 Comment

I remember that shirt…CLASSIC

Posted by Pat @ 06/16/2003 08:16 AM AST

About Dan

Dan lives in Australia and spends too much time on the computer.

One comment

  1. Wow. I don’t remember ever being that busy in undergrad.

    I should bleach my hair again.

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