Saturday, April 11, 2009

#11 Answers Now, Stories after Easter

Just got home from a wonderful dinner with my family. My cousin and I have decided we want to go backpacking in Europe in about 18 months or so. We're beginning our planning now, so we can save =]. Rather exciting. I wrote this before I left, but didn't post incase I got any more questions. Which I did.
Hey Guys! So thanks to the multiple questions from some people, I think I have enough to fill out a worthy Blog Post. I decided I'll tackle the stories after Easter, because then I'll have some more time to sit down and hopefully write something good. So if you have any more topics you can still put them in the comments until I post the blog(s).

Q:What good books have you read this year?
Wait, I'll pull out the records.
So far this year I've read about 20 books, some were read twice (e.g. School books and a couple I read while in France). I have to say that my two favourite new books this year were The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, fabulous novel, it's YA but it has to be one of the most beautifully written books, out of all that I've read. Another is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I wouldn't recommend this if you don't like depressing books, because this really gets into your head. I loved it, though.

I've mentioned this one before, I'm pretty sure, but Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard is indescribably entertaining and mind triggering. Plus, it relates to Hamlet majorly, and you will never look at literary character devices in the same way again.

Q: What bands do you like?

My two favourites are bands that I heard at concerts before I'd actually listened to their music. I think it's a powerful thing, to capture some one's attention for the first time during a live show.

Jack's Mannequin were a support band when I went to see Fall Out Boy (friend had a spare ticket, wasn't going to say no) in 2007. I still love them, especially after their second album came out.

Motion City Soundtrack were playing at a music festival I went to a year ago. I heard just one of their songs and decided to look them up. Best decision ever.

I also love, The Killers, Katy Perry, Sum 41, Bowling for Soup, Blink 182 etc etc.

Q: Do you have any celebrity crushes?
Yes. Hugh Dancy after watching Confessions of a Shopaholic. um. I used to have a huge crush on both Orlando Bloom (who didn't?) and Daniel Radcliff. But I'm not really into the whole 'mooning over celebrities' thing. I feel like it's a waste of time. Fictional [book] characters are probably another story =P

Q: When are you free for coffee?
Mitto, when I next see you we'll go out for coffee. And have the lolz.

Q: Hey there Delilah, what's it like in New York City?
I'm a thousand miles away...So I'm not really sure :S

Q: When can we expect the next chapter of Silver Sky* and do you have a conclusion in sight or will this be the Internet version of 'Blue Hills'?
No, I don't plan for Silver Sky to continue for years on end. =]. It's completely finished (although I did leave the ending open, so it could continue if I so wished, but I had to put an end to it. Not that you guys will get to that point anytime soon).

Regarding SS, basically, I'm having a little bit of trouble getting through my own handwriting. It makes typing it up frustrating. I had some stupid
idea to rule tiny little lines onto each page like so:...because I wanted to fit more onto each page. Little would I know that I would slowly be torturing my future self. So, it's a slow process, but I'll get there. Next time I update I'll make sure it's a large chunk of chapters so you don't only get a tiny section of the novel.

Q: Why is the word shenanigans still so underused?

Well, I have a friend that used it for a Facebook Event not so long ago, so I wouldn't call it underused

Q: Would you rather be a rich princess in medieval Europe or a normal person today?
Normal Person today. Why? Because I've spent some time studying Medieval history, and basically, it's not an era I would particularly love to live in. Even if I was a Princess. This was the period before all the wonderful discoveries such as 'The Printing Press' and 'Discovering What The Insides Of Dead People Look Like, Therefore Now We Can Start Learning How To Fix You If You're Dying!'
Among other reasons. Normal today is fine for me.

Q: Would you live in a pool for ten years for $4 million dollars? You would be able to have lilos and such to float on as to not be wrinkled all the time.
No. I'd rather spend those ten years outside of a pool, working for money and being productive rather than living on water. Besides, I bet it would get lonely.

Q: Would you row a boat for 2km along the Yarra in daylight, naked, for 25 grand?
No. I would have no respect for myself if I did that.

Q: Why is ironing shirts soooo much harder than you’d think?
It's easy, you just have to lay the shirt out so you don't crinkle it further.

Q: Why do people always yawn at the same time?
Um, there's a scientific reason for this. Something about our brains registering the notion of 'yawn' and then believing that it must yawn too. Probably wants to just be cool like all the other brains.

Q: What is the meaning of life? and What do you think the bottom line is in life? Is it love? As humans, are we simply here to reproduce to ensure the survival of the human race? Or is there something more to this?
I grouped these questions together because they are pretty much asking the same thing. Or at least, that's how I'm interpreting them.

I think we are here to live. If that's not a satisfactory answer, then I'm sorry. Sure, we're probably here to carry on the human race yada yada yada. But the way I see it is: We are here, now, on this day, and we have perhaps 80 years or so on this place, so we may as well utilise the time we have as best we possibly can. Otherwise, what's the point of it all?

(I realise I ended with the same question that was asked. And so the cycle continues)

Q: What would the world be like if dogs had eyebrows?
Filled with a lot more expression.

(Wasn't sure whether this was a question as well as a story idea [there's more to it] so I'll just do both ^_^)
Q: I had a cat who decided to run away when I moved house. Where did he go?
Actually I think I will turn this answer into a story. Just had an idea =]

The following questions have to do with Religion, so I grouped them all together. I'm assuming that there are some religious people who read this blog, so I just want to say now that whatever I say is not meant to offend anyone's belief, it's just my opinion.

Q: Do you believe that a God does exist and that there is an afterlife?
To say yes to either of these questions would be to lie to myself. I don't believe in God. This is partly because of how I've been brought up; neither of my parents believe in God, my father is in fact Buddhist (although this is only lately, since he moved to Asia.)

In many ways I do wish I had ultimate faith in something such as a God, or just religion in general. I respect those who have an unwavering loyalty to their beliefs. That's just not who I am, no matter how much I would love to unconditionally believe in something. I'm more Agnostic than Atheist, because I would like to believe that there is a larger force out there, I just need it to be proved to me. And not in some 2000 year old story that has been edited and re-written and translated so many times that who knows what it originally began as. Plus, I don't like how it treats women. However much society has improved, we still have a long way to go.

The 'afterlife' is something I'm not sure about. Again I take it in a literal sense: How can anyone know what happens after death? No one has come back to tell us. Heaven and reincarnation has been created so that death isn't as frightening, I guess almost something to look forward to, to soften the blow. As humans we fear the unknown, and death is probably the greatest uncertainty of all.
I'll take what happens, when the time comes. Now, I'll concentrate on what I already have.

Q: Do you think that the way we live our life here on Earth will ultimately determine where we end up in the afterlife?
see above answer.

Q: Do you think reincarnation is feasible?
again, see above answer. But sure, I think it's feasible. I don't discriminate, there are tons of possibilities. It's just rather hard to prove them all.

Q: Do you think that Karma is real - every action we do unto the universe will ultimately come back to us in kind, or do bad things really happen to good people for no reason?
Karma is something that I think is just the natural order of things. I think generally if you do something bad, you will probably pay for it. Perhaps it's more of a Justice thing, I don't know. Bad things happen. Sometimes to more people than others, even if they are wonderful God-fearing citizens. But if you were to spread a person's life out and sort it into the Good and the Bad, I'm sure there would be a balance. It all depends on the variables.

Q: As it is Easter, I'd like you to read Mark's gospel in the Bible and than then tell me who does Mark say Jesus is.
I don't even know if my family owns a bible :S. I don't have time to dig it up if we do. I'll google it. Okay too many options. Sorry.

*For new people, Silver Sky is a novel I began writing for National Novel Writing Month and finished (by handwriting it) in France. I'm still trying to type up the handwritten second half.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, you answered them all. I read through them earlier thinking why are people asking such silly questions. Good job.

Anonymous said...

You are not here to continue the human race, you are here to extinguish it. Every new generation has damaged the environment more then the last. You're here as an experiment and to be experimented on. Every day we get closer to a controlled mass of people for us to use as we please. Love is fiction. There is no such thing as love for good people, only heart break when someone you love leaves you for someone else they think they love. Humans confuse themselves with petty emotions. Kill me, please. Life isn't worth living.

mittopotahis said...

Your comments are so well thought out. I feel as if I know you much more now. =P

Richard said...

Good work Liv & Thanks :)
The comment from Anonymous #2 is indeed the logical conclusion you will come to if you believe that life has no meaning and we are here only for 80 years and then we die.
I believe Mark does have an answer:)
Here is a link to the text;&version=31;

And will look forward to the stories :)

katems said...

im new to this whole blogging thing but i find what you write, and how you write to be amazing. This is especially true in how you answered the questions. look forward to reading more.


Anonymous said...

Hi Liv,

Nice answers and I agree with most of them. I regret asking such silly questions, what type of writer do you want to be?

Oh and Richard, what the heck are you talking about? The logical conclusion? Are you kidding me. I am an atheist and I am perfectly happy. 80 years only is just all the more reason to use them well. I am an atheist though, not because I want to be, but because of what I perceive as overwhelming and insurmountable evidence against the beliefs of people such as you. Whilst I don't have a problem with people who believe in such things, I see you are trying to convert Liv to Christianity via blog comment, which IMO is pretty distasteful.

Take it easy

Anonymous said...

Hi Liv,

Wow, thanks for anwering all those questions, it's great to see your point of view on it all.

Anonymous #3: Could you direct me to said 'overwhelming and insurmountable evidence'? I'd very much like to see it.

I don't think Richard is trying to convert anyone.

Anonymous said...

Ok im reneging my anonymity or this will get confusing.

Anonymous 4, aka Richard (probably) posting from anonymity, you want evidence? Ok, well I really have no incentive to get into this conversation. I have debated Christians a couple of time before, such debates have a tendency to be extremely long and time wasting and no Christian I have met has been objective. They are usually so wound up in emotion about their religion that they cannot separate their logic from their emotion. And further, would it even benefit you if I converted you to atheism? You are probably so wound up in your beliefs (at your age especially, I had a look at your blog) that it would be extremely hard for you to take, so why bother to want the evidence. Ask yourself the hypothetical question – If I happened to be wrong, would I be better off not knowing that I was wrong? If you have grown up with it, maybe you are better off, if you happened to be wrong, not to be aware of that. Personally I feel that I am better off as an atheist because I (believe that I) can see the world more accurately that way. For instance, I don’t think things like stem cell research, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, the use of contraception, etc.. are wrong because I see them for what they really are. I am able to analyse the effects of these things objectivity, though in my experience, Christians think some or all of these things and more are wrong, not because of a well thought out analysis, but, IMO, due to a lack of objectivity in favour of a 2000 yr old book and to a lesser extent its even more irrational predecessor the Old Testament. Also, if I have an obstacle to overcome, If you’re an atheist you don’t depend on god. You realise you are the one that needs to help yourself and that just because you are a good person, you need to work for it, god isn’t going to help you and only you can do that. This is another advantage of atheism which can lead you to lead yourself to better outcomes.

Anyway I will give you one basic piece of evidence. The problem of evil. Think about this, but don’t think too long or too deeply if you want to maintain your beliefs and the associated piece of mind they might provide for you.

A child in South Africa is born with HIV and dies of Aids at the age of 4. There was nothing the child could do about it. This is evil.

You, as a Christian claim that
a.) God is omnipotent
b.) God is purely good

Why then, would a god with these characteristics (with both the perfect desire and the means to stop evil) allow this evil to persist? Good luck with that one and
don’t give me any ridiculous argument about Satan because if god has the characteristics of a.) and b.), he could wipe out Satan in one blow.

Besides that Richard, even if someone was to believe that life had no meaning (which by the way, just because I am an atheist, is not what I believe, life does have meaning) and we are only here for 80 years and then we die (which may have been the opinion of Anonymous 2) then why would his or her conclusion of “Kill me, please. Life is not worth living” be a logical conclusion? Shouldn’t they at least want to stick around for the fun of it? You shouldn’t reinforce them on that conclusion, that person is clearly depressed and possibly suicidal. They probably need serious psychological help you tool. It rather angered me when you said that. And damnit, I have spent 15 minutes writing this, not that it will even have any effect on your beliefs, but now I am late for the Mexican house. Horrific.

Kartar said...

Christians. *yawn* So boring. No one cares - go bother each other - the rest of us are just fine.

I can never understand why that lot feel the need to stick their noses into other people's business. I don't mind that you believe in some imaginary being - that's your business and your right. But what right do you have to tell me that I should believe what you do?

Buddhists. I like Buddhists. No carrying on and trying to convert people. :P

Richard said...

1 I always post under my own name

2. I was not trying to convert anyone I was just responding a) to the hopelessness & blackness expressed in the 2nd Anonymous post.
b) providing the resources for Liv to be able intelligently think about the question I first asked.. read it again.

3 This is Liv's blog not mine and I will not use huge amounts of her column space to attack anyone, not even anonymous posters which would be definately rude and very distasteful

Anonymous said...

Hi Richard, I was not actually trying to attack you in that post, just express my opinions of some relevance to the question. In the past, I have found it difficult not to be perceived as arrogant by believers when talking about the idea of god. That said I could have put things more respectfully, though at the time of writing I was mainly ticked me off with your “logical conclusion” comment and also because you tried to at least get Liv, who I currently have an open crush on and might as such be inclined to be slightly defensive about, to read Christian material. In particular, you may have found the part where I said hypothetically, if you were to be wrong but not know then you may be better off, as patronizing. However I did not mean this as in any way specific or personal to you (I only had a very brief look at your blog), and only specific to your age in the sense that if you were still growing up it would be easier to adjust either way. I merely meant that I can see some psychological benefits to religion, but obviously, as an atheist, I don’t believe in it so naturally I would think that about people who are religious, that there are pros and cons and for some maybe the pros outweigh the cons (in a psychological sense).

Though the content of anonymous 4’s post seems like something you would say if you wanted to post an anonymous response, if that was actually not you then I apologize and consider the majority of my prior post to have been directed at that poster.

Anonymous said...

You’re cool anyway and I’m not a freaky person – not yet.
It seems your writing is wise and inspiring so I’m inspired as following:

People yawn at the same time or one after another because it’s time for bed but only when they’re staying late.

I can row a boat along Yarra. Not a problem. But no ‘human’ must visit there that day. 

Life, of humankind, here is, as I view, to live for something you need to do, you have to do and you like to do. I hope you wouldn’t disagree. You have to answer for yourself: what you need to do, have to do and like to do. For ‘what you have to do’, I like to follow the wise people – btw I’m a Buddhist (not by tradition) too.

I believe in afterlife by reasons – not by faith. The followings are reasons – not proofs.
1. All religions indicate afterlife – but this is not one of my reasons.
2. Why do people fear of death? If we don’t believe in afterlife and kamma (karma) – the cause and affect, why do we fear of pain, suffering and death? I believe all creatures have natural belief inside their natures but they don’t understand it. Btw who understands themselves?
3. All creatures are roaming here and there in order to have something they need, they have to have and they like. They have hope and living for it. When they lose it, they lose the desire to live but they don’t lose the desire to have the hope back to them so that they can start all over again. You can use a western word ‘mind’.
4. All creatures have desire to live so they try. But the nature of matters is everything has lifespan. Without lifespan, everything will stop and so will the Existence. As the body is made of these matters, although renewing process tries to sustain the body, that renewing process itself has to cease when it reaches the end of its lifespan.
5. There are cycles of things in chains. The universe itself is a cycle. Everything seems to be in a cycle that is part of a larger cycle so this makes the cycles of the Cycle. Cycle: a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order. Well, there are babies born every moment. We were once ones ourselves too. In this case, we must be in a cycle too – lifecycle (not a jargon of biology); in Buddhism, it’s Samsara.

Honestly I’m not here to preach religion. I only react according to ‘worthily reply’. But I want you consider visiting this:

Anonymous said...

mind: i mean 'unconscious mind'. sorry for this:)))