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DARTEGNIAN'S MAIN BLOG|WHERE DREAMS ARE PENNED|STORIES ARE WRITTEN|IDEAS ARE BUILT|AND SET IN MOTION

Missing Things


What do you do when you lose something? Something, an object, a lost item. What do you do? Normally, common sense will tell you to go look for it, right? I mean, it's an innate feature, our brain automatically tells us to scour and search the place around us in order to find that missing thing. But, our brain doesn't know what to do when we've lost something... special. How about you? When you miss someone, when you miss a particular event or moment, what do you do? Do you scour the place around you in order to find or relive that moment again? That's what I've been doing these past few weeks and it's starting to take a toll on me.

For the past couple of weeks or so, especially the week before, I've been looking back on the past few years of my life. 2012, 2013, 2014, ah, the good years. I don't really know why, but I feel like there was something special during those years that isn't with me now. As a last resort, I've decided to make a blog post regarding the things from the past that I miss. (Because writing my problems down often results in some kind of resolution, apparently.) So, with that said, let's take a trip back to the past—my past.

2013

Let's start with the "most nostalgic" year of them all, 2013. Man, I gotta tell you, 2013 was one hell of a year for me, almost quite literally. 2013 was the year I really got into Girls' Generation and the Sone community. Also, 2013 was the year I almost committed suicide, so that's that. 2013 was also the year I really got into computers because I learned all about virtual machines, Unix, Windows, the basics of what an OS is, etc. This was also the year where I learned how to update my current operating system. I updated my OS from Windows 7 to Windows 8 this year (and eventually updated to Windows 8.1 Preview later that year).

"Windows XP, Me, 98, and 2000 on one machine? What sorcery is this?" I thought.

Truth be told, my adventures dabbling with virtual machines and learning how to set them up proved to be beneficial to me in the long run. At the very least, I'm glad that, around the age of 14, I already knew how to configure RAM for a virtual machine, how many cores should a virtual machine need, how to install VMware tools on a VM, etc. Ooh, and how to make MacOS (then Mac OS X) run on Windows! :D

Ah, the Mac days always had a new place to explore.

Installing and setting up virtual machines weren't the only things I learned this year, oh no. I also dabbled in the magical arts of Visual Studio for the first time. I was extremely technologically adventurous this year because it was, like, the first year I had my own personal computer, so I tried to do so a lot of stuff on it. This was around my 3rd year in high school when I asked myself, "Do I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up?" and I answered yes. So, I downloaded Visual Studio, installed the Windows Phone SDK (because I owned a Lumia 900 and wanted to make apps for it), and started working.



It took a while for me to figure out, and I had to watch a lot of online tutorials in order to know what was what. It was the first time for me to learn a programming language, to be honest. Because the main topic of our computer classes for my 3rd year in high school was Adobe Flash, and Photoshop was the main topic the year prior. So, there I was, I tried launching a new template for a Windows Phone app and boom! "What the fuck am I looking at?" I first asked myself. I got around the program, moved things, added things, removed things, changed things, and I thought it was pretty cool. By the near-end of the year or so, I had already tried to make my first-ever app (or first-ever Windows app).

I wanted the color scheme to be yellow because... Mango. You know, Windows Phone Mango. The OS of my phone.
The first-ever app I made back in June. This was supposed to get the feed from Jessica's Weibo profile.

The app I made wasn't much, just a basic layout or so. The final app had a list of the members of the local computer club—Cryptix. (I also came up with the name for the club, hehehe.) It had a custom background, too, and it fully worked with the Windows Phone emulator on my laptop. I couldn't make it run on my phone, though. I needed a Dreamspark subscription for that, but I badly wanted to developer unlock my phone. The only problem was that our school didn't offer a .edu email address, so, yeah, I wasn't able to sign up for Dreamspark.

In hindsight, it was quite surprising to see that I've learned and did so much stuff this year in the field of computers. I had learned what Tor was and how to connect to Tor, what virtual machines were and how to install them, I learned what an SDK and an IDE was and how to use them, I made my first app, and I learned a lot about computer security as well as malware—and I was only 14 years old.

I was petrified of getting Cryptolocker on my laptop back then.
Danooct1 was (and still is) one of my favorite malware-focused YouTubers out there.

Techy and nerdy stuff aside, I focused a lot on Girls' Generation this year, and integrating myself within the Sone community. I already knew Soshified existed this year, but this was the year I learned all about Philippine Sone fan groups on Facebook.

I got so involved with the community. Man, every single day, there was a new SNSD meme on my News Feed. Whether it was a meme about Jessica's Miss Korea performance, another incident of Taeyeon touching Tiffany's butt, or another post about how uptight and strict Seohyun looks. I also made my profile fully SNSD. SNSD profile picture, SNSD cover photo, the works. I didn't care what other people thought of me, I just did what I felt like doing.

My usual setup back in the day. Internet Explorer on the left, Xbox Video in the middle, and Xbox Music on the right.

I remember spazzing so much with my best friend Elaine back then. Whenever the latest news came out about SNSD, or any of the members, she'd be my first source of information. I tell you, she's great at receiving news about SNSD. I remember those days, when we'd just talk all night about our favorite SNSD albums, why that album is good, and why it's the best. I'm not sure if she still reminisces about those things, but those little things—the late-night talks and such—mean a lot to me, and I miss those moments the most.

I was extremely addicted to listening to SNSD this year. More often than not, there would be days where SNSD is the only artist I'd listen to the entire day. Also, my Lumia would be full of all the albums SNSD has, and whenever they would release a new album or song, it would be immediately on my phone.

Ah, those were the days. Listening to SNSD on the Xbox Music app and talking to Ate Elaine using the Windows Messaging app.

Being action-packed year 2013 was, it wasn't all about technology and SNSD, it was also about gaming! The amount of games my laptop was able to handle was just insane. The newly-released horror game Outlast was able to run fantastically on this laptop of mine (albeit on the lowest settings). You see, back then, I had an AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics card. Over the years, my laptop's life slowly degraded and the graphics card now has all but burned out. It's a dead chip on my motherboard right now, to be honest. But, before it died, I sure as hell played a lot of games on this thing—and I gamed like there was no tomorrow.

This game scared the hell out of me. It felt so real and frightening.

I used to play a lot of Minecraft back in the day. My best friend and I would write cheesy books to each other and we'd keep them stored here in this library.
Portal 2 was, hands down, the BEST game I played on this ol' laptop of mine.

Since 2013 was the year I upgraded my OS to Windows 8, it was the first year I got introduced into apps. Now, unlike the apps on Windows 10, the apps on Windows 8 were "immersive," meaning that they took a full screen view of your display. As an intrepid teen, I was fascinated with this technology. "I don't see this in other operating systems!" I thought, and it was pretty revolutionary, albeit controversial, at the time. Others seemed to hate the full screen experience on Windows 8, but I loved it. I also tried the games on Windows 8, and I loved them equally as well, and I installed as much Xbox Live games as possible.


Man, I can't tell you how much I loved the experience of spending hours upon hours playing Wordament on Windows 8. Oh, and Jetpack Joyride, too! As well as Cut the Rope. Those were the most fun games to play back then.

Blogging was also a huge thing for me back then. None of my friends in real life and I believe no one else in my high school blogged, so I tried to find people who did. I also browsed through and read some of the blogs here on Blogspot. A notable person I knew who blogged was Ate Elaine. She was a great blogger, and I'd often find myself casually reading or perusing through her blog when I was bored. Whenever she made a new post, I'd often receive a notification immediately. We also would share templates with each other, and she'd ask me to change the template of her blog or make it look better.

The app on the right is Internet Explorer, by the way. I used the IE app so much back then.

2014

2014 was more of a continuation of 2013 than anything—with emphasis on arts. I continued doing the stuff I did back in 2013 this year, but I focused on doing artsy stuff. Oh, and since this year would be the year I'd become a senior in high school, I decided to get out of my shell this year.

I met so many new people this year. This would be the "glory year" of my time in Integrated Montessori Center, and so much fun stuff in school went down this year. For one, we had a bartending class, and we were supposed to bring liquor to school so we can learn about how to mix cocktails, or something. The others brought liquor, sure, but some brought hard liquor—brandy, vodka, and the alike. Since we were highschoolers and we were young, it was expected for us to drink so much that day, and I'm sure most of us did, myself included. So, yeah, I did get drunk at school, mind you. Along with many others, too, and I was just 15 :^)

Drinking alcohol isn't a hobby of mine, to be honest. In fact, I actually abstain myself from drinking it (due to prior trauma). And, since I'm on the topic of vices, I don't smoke, too. Smoking is the last thing I'll ever do. My lungs are bad enough already, and I don't even smoke; horrid my lungs would be if I smoked. That experience in my bartending class in high school was a fun experience, but I don't want it to happen again, haha.

Anyway, I got out of my small shell this year. I met some great friends this year: Sir Jep, Ashley, Bernadette, Jared, Mariah, Sofia, Emman, and Janine. I got close to my existing friends this year as well, especially the RC crew.

Skype was one of my frequently-used programs in this year. The usual scenario during afternoon or on evenings would be me opening Skype and calling someone who was online. Screen sharing was an amazing feature, too.


Adobe Photoshop was also a favorite program of mine to use this year as well. I got into Photoshop this year, and I have made several layouts within my senior year of high school. One project in particular was the layout of my school's newspaper. You see, we had a few people who were good in Photoshop back then, and, since I was the only one in the Intrepid Pen who knew how to make a layout, I was tasked with the layout of the entire school newspaper. (The final, full layout of my school newspaper can be found on my Behance profile.)

The first draft of the layout. I hadn't learned about legibility of text yet, so I had trouble with the layout.

2014 would also be the year where I would heavily pay attention to my blog. You see, before A Better Tomorrow and Memoir of an Undergrad, I had a blog—my main blog. I did so much stuff on that blog back then. I watched a lot of movies, Korean, American, foreign, it doesn't matter, and I reviewed them on my blog. I also wrote a review on Windows 8.1 on my old blog, and I even wrote a sort of "investigative article" on Tiffany Hwang's Xanga. I also coined the term "monsoon season" that year. (The "monsoon season" is the season where it rains the most, and you just feel like watching movies all day.)

2012

Finally, 2012. 2012 and the years prior were the "texting years." For the majority of 2012, I didn't have a laptop nor an Internet connection, and I only had my trusty Nokia 5233 with me. I texted a lot of people back then. In school, I'd often ask my friends for their phone number, and we would just text each other nonstop.

These were the years of "GM" or "group message." I also had my first love this year, and we would constantly text each other all day long, sending each other a good morning text when we woke up, and a good night text when we were going to sleep. Calling was also a thing this year. You couldn't call over Facebook back then, so, more often than not, you'd call the other person, and I regularly called people back then. I miss those late-night conversations over the phone, and calling someone in the middle of the night to talk about whatever.

This year and the years prior were also the "PSP years." Like I said, I had no laptop, so the only mode of entertainment I had this time was the PSP—and I had two of them. One PSP was a fat version, and it had a 4GB memory stick. That PSP was filled to the brim with low-quality 129kbps songs that came from a YouTube video converter, and with videos from a converter as well. It wasn't much to you, but it was more than enough to me. I also had a slim version PSP and that had all the games I wanted to play. DJ Max Portable 3, Need for Speed, The Sims, Midnight Dub, Gran Turismo, Thrillville, Tekken 6, and, my favorite, WipEout.

Now

In hindsight, my years of being an early teen were pretty good. Everything was filled with new places to explore, and every alley was a roadtrip to experience.

I'm 18 now and it's been a few years since I did those things. I don't know why, but, all the experiences I had have all but waned away. The fun I used to have making artworks in Photoshop and learning new stuff about technology are all gone, for some reason.

As much as I want to, it's hard to rekindle the experiences of the past. It's also not just the experiences of the past I miss, but the people, too. "People change," as they say, and most of my close friends back then are barely my friends now. I'm not sure what happened. I've retained who I was from the past, but I'm not sure with them. The saddening thought is that maybe they changed, and I just failed to change with them. I just stayed in the same spot and hoped they did, too.

Often, I try to do the things I did in the past that seemed fun, such as watching tutorial videos on YouTube about computers, but now it feels like a chore, for some reason. I no longer find interest in learning more about computers. I still love computer science, to be honest, it's just that I've lost the passion to learn more about it recently.

The same can be said for my artworks, to be honest. Whenever I feel like making art, I ask myself "Why should I do that now? I have work to do. I'm tired. I don't want to do that. I'm not artistic enough. It's pointless, I'll never be good." Even if I had real work to do, when it clashes with the feeling of me wanting to make art, it often results to just me lying on the bed, getting nothing done.

It's depressing, to be honest. I don't know what has taken over me. The things I liked back then are now either gone or aren't as enjoyable anymore. SNSD is not as active as they used to, and I believe that the group is on the verge of death. Plus, there's nothing new to talk about the group other than Taeyeon.

Maybe it's because I'm all grown up now? I don't know. The visions of another adventure down any alley has faded, well, the door to my Wonderland has closed.

A solution I see for this would be to experience new and more stuff. I've started joining hackathons recently, and I'm preparing myself to be more outgoing. I've also made strides in finding new people to talk to, and I'm getting more into Overwatch lately, so that's that.

Although I don't want to replace SNSD from my heart, I want to rekindle my experience with them. There are still tons of videos about them that I haven't watched, so, in my free time, I could do so. Oh, and there are new k-pop groups on the scene now, and they have active fanbases, but I'm not sure if I like them.

Maybe I just need companionship now. A friend whom I can share new experiences with. I've been in my lonely shell for far too long and I want to get out. Who knows? Maybe in the coming months or so, I might just shake things up.

Whatever happens, I'm just glad that I had such a bright past. The light from them continues to guide me through the future—even in the darkest paths. I guess that's the lesson for today. I'm just glad about all of it.

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