Nick's Interests

Firstly, I would like to say that I am deeply, deeply honoured that you would venture into my interests. With the world falling apart as I type this and dozens of people losing their lives each second, the fact that you're reading this (about as trivial as things get on a universal scale!) is somewhat of a miracle. Anyway! Enough philosophy for now. Here's what makes me tick in this, my little corner of cyberspace:

Church:    I've been going here since year dot. In the past, I didn't always like it, I seldom understood it and even at times I resented it. But now it's something that really gives me a buzz, gets me thinking about everything and is the guiding star in my life. I am an Anglican Christian, presently attending two churches in Sydney. It may not be the 'coolest' thing to be a Christian but the promise of eternal life through God's grace is far too good an honour to pass up, considering it's the only way one can bypass eternal damnation! My two favourite bible verses are Philippians 4:13 - "I have the strength to do all things by the power that Christ gives me" and also Isaiah 9:6 - "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; And the government shall be upon his shoulder, And his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God Everlasting Father; Prince of Peace.". Awesome stuff!

Anime:    Astroboy was my childhood hero, and I confess to owning all of his episodes dubbed in English. I think that anime (Japanese animation, or cartoons) are the best form of motion picture entertainment around. How can the west compete?! I am sad that most people I talk to about anime have written it off, thinking that all anime consists of 'hentai' or 'ecchi' - two sub-genres of anime that sport highly graphical violence, delve much into images of the occult and display sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination. Granted that there is a market for these particular flavours, this is not my cup of tea, and there is so much more to anime than this. Possibly the best thing about anime is that it can show stuff on the screen that can't be shown on a 'real life' screen. If you don't believe me, watch 'Akira', 'Ghost in the Shell', Roujin-Z or 'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind', which are all outstanding examples.

Music:    If you've already read my resume, you'll see that most of my life has involved music. I have a long list of teachers and others who've helped accelerate my musical career, but the one outstanding individual that I really have to thank for all of this is my mother. From playing Beethoven at the time I slept in a cot to paying the fees that helped me though the experience of achieving my A.Mus A, my Mum is almost solely responsible for the musical talent (or sometimes lack thereof - I'm not that conceited!) I have today. Playing music is really therapeutic for me, whether I'm in a symphony orchestra, a small chamber string group or just jamming alone on the piano. My favourite composers include Yoko Kanno, Joe Hisaishi, Gustav Mahler, Bela Bartók, Richard Wagner and just about anyone who writes jazz!

Technology:    My parents told me that when I was less than 1 year old, they were with me and my elder sister in a drugstore in New York, where I was standing up at a pinball machine (having a great time!) with teenagers loading quarters into the machine for me. I think that's what started it all. The Japanese word 'otaku' is often used as a reference to a person, usually a boy, who sits indoors all day, usually because they are transfixed with their past time or hobby. I had my fair share of 'indoorsiness' through music already, but this was helped along by the event of a Nintendo Entertainment System, followed by a Super Nintendo Entertainment System and then a (new at the time) 80386SX-16MHz computer with 2MB of RAM and a 40MB hard drive!! Next probably came my admission into computer studies at school, computer science at university and then (almost) two diplomas at TAFE. A part-time job at Dick Smith Electronics also contributed towards this very real interest of mine, and to this day I have successfully engineered it to be my full-time profession.

Japan:       Since watching Astroboy, playing "Oda Nobunaga's Ambition" on the computer (a game set in the 17th century of Feudal Japan), studying Japanese history at school and meeting Japanese folk through my musical involvement with the Suzuki method, I have always been drawn to this country and just about everything in it. Japanese history, in particular, did it for me. I think that a nation that dragged itself from being a relatively small economy to the number two position behind the United States (in less than 150 years, mind) is nothing to be sneered at! Most of the interests above embody this interest; anime and technology in particular. I plan to teach myself Japanese so that I may return there to re-visit two of my friends in Japan: Ayako and Shinji.


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© Nicholas B. Russell MMIV

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