Friday, January 1, 2010


New decade, and ever onward do we plunge into the not-so-new-anymore-Millennium.

Well, Happy New Year to one and all. :)

I don't think I'd raise up a particularly high score card for my 2009.
I do kind of understand, at a conceptual and perhaps detached level, that happiness is what you make of it. But I feel like I haven't given myself the time to actually think about and reflect on things properly for the longest time ever. I complain about how I feel like I've become increasingly dumb, and maybe increasingly numb as well, but I have much more than unfounded suspicions that I myself have had a pretty major role in this devolutionary process.

I have to detach my hands from the keyboard of my laptop pretty soon, and so, am going to end this muddling and hazy perhaps-beginning of a reflective process.

What a difference a year makes? Mmm, I wonder.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rust on Dusk

Going through my previous phone's photos.

This time last year, exams were over. Summer was creeping in. Loveliness.

I'm trying not to steep myself too much in nostalgia.

The weather this weekend has pushed the boundaries of unbearability. It's like the atmosphere dumps a whole chunk of water down on us with great gusto, then enthusiastically sucks it all up again with head-splittingly intense sunshine, before regrouping the clouds to dumping water mode again. That was Saturday. Today it's just stupidly hot and humid. Boo.

The bitterness of my recent entries is slightly worrying.

I think I need to do some regrouping myself. >.<'

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beep Beep

The title to this post.

That's supposed to be the sound of the heart-rate monitor machine screen thingy that's inhabits hospitals.

And that's supposed to indicate that I'm alive.

Well, you could debate that statement - I'm alive - from a philosophical standpoint.

But yes. Biologically not dead.

I keep meaning to blog here, but am eternally distracted. Apologies for the long lapse in entries!

I am exhausted now, though, and have already spent more time than I should on the computer.

Maybe a quick round up.

* Saying that I do not like my current form of wage slavery might just be ever so slightly an understatement. Woe is me.

* I kind of planned a holiday to Japan hoping to take advantage of a cheap ticket deal and a coincidence with a newly-discovered and already-rather-loved band's tour. Only to be dashed to smithereens by youtubing their live performances. It turns out Mr Sexy Vocals on Record can't carry a tune live to stop a meteor carrying deranged and vengeful alien dinosaurs from colliding with planet earth. I checked a few videos as a means of grasping at straws, but alas, all of them nearly extracted tears from my ducts and had me jamming the 'x' button of my browser. Damn him. Oh, and there's swine flu as well.

* Leading on from that, swine flu has flown to the sunny shores of spore. But the health ministry seems determined to let us all succumb to it by refusing to raise the pandemic alert level. When the whole thing first broke out in Mexico, they went nuts and jammed the alert all the way up to red (only one away from black(=black death??)) and then once they decided they were over-reacting, they don't seem to want to react anymore. Pah.

* Ayabie's Major Label debut single stinks. Commercial unimaginative junk. And I forked out good money for that. Talk about regression and selling out. Woe is me.

* Exit policy considerations are complicated and seem to wither in my mind through a process of self-mortification and doubt. Woe is me.

As you can probably tell, I have been in a considerably more than slightly disagreeable mood of late. I think the direction of the wind will change and it will be etched on my countenance for all eternity.


Oh well.

Bright sparks:

☆ Indulging my not so inner-geek and catching the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy concert here. Music from the Role-Playing video game series rearranged for an orchestra. Such joy and nostalgia. Where's that 16 year-old me now? Hmmm. The composer was there, and he was one hell of a character. xD Got his autograph. Whoo!

☆ My 'glittery cheese' arrived! Hoorah! Can't await to play around and where them! Have coordinated some of them in my mind for tomorrow. Yay for bright colourful accessories!

☆ Catching Dancing On Your Grave by the Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs. Macabre humour and inappropriate morbidity abound-ed (what's the past-tense of 'abound'? Does it exist? What? Huh? I no-no speeek Eengland) Five performers as corpses, singing, dancing, strumming, miming. All contained on a little red stage smaller than my toilet. A real treat. I have to admit that I went alone, though. I bought my ticket on a last-minute-ish kind of spur and couldn't really think of anyone to go along with me. But let's not go down that avenue, shall we? Not now.

The chorus of the last number: "Everyday's a holiday, a holiday from death"

Hoo yeah.

Oh, and I just had to include a photo. Because I love my posts with pictures. Sunset from the Esplanade roof.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Das Kapital

I recently made a short trip to the capital city of the consumerist communist country. The last time I was there was in the summer of 2005, and there is a marked difference since the Olympics trundled through town. Was very pleasantly surprised to see trees lining the roads, flowering pretty spring blossoms in vibrant colours, and displaying that lovely mild green of early spring. The historical buildings we clustered around to gaze at still have shiny coats of paint. But air quality was still shit. And I have my traditionalist/romanticist misgivings about the glossification/swankification of the city. A whole bunch of sleazy little low-rise bars had been bulldozed to make way for a hulking new commercial development. A tiny little patch of restored and protected hutong houses cowering in the shadow of yet more shiny skyscrapers are now occupied by posh restaurants and bars.

I’d like to dig out my old blog post on my 2005 trip to China, but can’t do it right now because I’m typing this on MS Word at work. >.>

I’m afraid I had a few hours of playing the awful voyeuristic tourist when we went into a hutong and I snapped pictures of the ‘quaint dilapidated environment’. This whole conscience of the tourist like thing bugs me sometimes. >.<

On the trip, I had the (mis)fortune of spending an evening being made the plaything of a couple of uber bourgeoisie (uber) brats. One was 5 and a half years old and the other probably something like 7. The little terrors were vaguely cute, but then would sneak up behind me when I was eating and tickle my neck. Like, hellooo, I’m not your cat, damn it!! And I had to grin and bear it because their parents were treating us to dinner. Then they’d insist I accompany them to the lobster tank, and when I told them not to bash their fists against the glass by trying to appeal to their milks of human kindness and compassion, they just paused for a while and continued their banging. And then they dragged me out into the lobby and this takes us to the point of my even mentioning them – they proceeded to attempt to entertain me with a series of ‘performances’. To be fair, it was actually rather sweet of them.

But yes, the ‘performances’. First some calisthenics-like dances, then singing, then they started reciting stories! They go to school in China, and apparently they make them memorise stories complete with suitable intonation/emoting, and hand actions/gestures, body movements… … The full works! It was… scary! Impressive, but just ever so slightly scary! And totally put me to shame. I never excelled in dictation. I hated the little exercises they put us through in school; never succeeded in putting any literature quotes into my brain for extended periods of time for exams (I scoffed at the idea of memorising quotes); and totally resented being made to recite/memorise our texts in Japan. My recent one claim to memory work was the lyrics to Placebo’s “Every You Every Me”, and as I sat there watching the two girls, I realized that I couldn’t get by the first 3 verses for that too! O.o I think my brain is just so far gone in its laziness it refuses to retain any information in verbatim. According to the father, education based on dictation is the way to go. A year ago I would have screamed my violent disagreement. But now I’m thinking – if I could rattle off the classics, the beautifully crafted texts, the twists and turns of wordplay, why, it’d be amazing! And I’d be able to have the intricacies of language in much more profound order internalised in my brain. And of course there is that side of me that wishes to flaunt knowledge and display learnedness/culturedness/what-not-ness by being able to memorise stuff.

The sad thing is that even though I listen to a lot of music, I can’t recite/sing the lyrics to almost all of them! I think it’s because when I listen to music, my mind takes off on many different directions as well, and even though the instrumentation and words go in, they don’t bury themselves into the whorls of my brain and take root. And as illustrated by the ‘Every You Every Me’ example, even if I do memorise some of them, I can very well forget as they get overwritten with the tonnes of data and information I expose myself to each day. Graah.

---Back Home---

I am falling ill. T-T And stupid shitty shit has been coming in at work for these two days. Oh woe is me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Of Humming Lushness and Drifting White

Ah, it's been a while since I've inflicted my angst on this corner of cyberspace. But we move on to sunnier pastures today. If only for a mini-post. I hope.

Well, the only ongoing anime series I'm following at the moment is the second season of Natsume Yuujinchou ('Natsume's Book of Friends' 夏目有人帳). It's about a boy, Natsume, who has the ability to see spirits and demons, who inherits his grandmother's 'Book of Friends', which is a collection of names from various spirits and demons she obtained servitude from. He forms an arrangement with a demon/spirit, who usually assumes the form of a highly squishable fat fortune cat, known as Nyanko-sensei in this form. The series has a different story each episode, surrounding different spirits and how Natsume gets involved in their predicaments, desires, and relations.

While the first season was set in summer, the stories and the art all contributed to a feeling of mild sparseness. However, it concentrated a little more on meetings, and ended on a warm note.

In contrast, the second season is set in winter, and the first two episodes dealt with partings. The third episode was slightly more light-hearted, but had the shadow of Natsume's as yet murky past hanging over it.

I think the feel of the two seasons can be felt from the respective gorgeous soundtrack cover artwork.

Ah, I love the covers so! Especially the first one! It encapsulates my romanticised image of small-town/rural Japan. I actually got exceedingly excited to see a similar road, complete with markings on the tarmac yelling "STOP" when I was last in Japan.

The main draw for the series for me has got to be Nyanko-sensei, though! xD He's a grumpy old man and little kitty cat and more all rolled into one!

AND, his real form is incredibly cool!!

He's voiced by Inoue Kazuhiko, a veteran seiyuu who I like and respect very much. :]

Lastly, the ED (Ending Theme) for the first season is gorgeous. 'Natsu Yuuzora' ('Summer Evening Sky') by Atari Kousuke. He sings in a style called Shimauta (lit. 'island song'), which is the folk song of and island called Amami-Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture. I found out that he studied social anthropology in Ryuukyuu University (in Okinawa!!), which makes him triply cool! Haha.

Ok, so this post ended up being longer than I intended, and with a nice dose of pic-spammage. Haha. But yes, squishy talking cats with supernatural powers are made of win. xD

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Oh eurgh. One thing that really gets on my nerve. When I'm out having an evening jog/walk/lung-busting-form-of-'exercise' around the empty piece of land near my house, I tend to pass many other local residents taking their evening constitutional. And so I sort of smile faintly and nod my head slightly as a form of greeting. More often than not, I just get stares that radiate thoughts labelling me a variety of names for 'crazy girl'. Bloody idiots.

Realised that I've only blogged here once so far this month. Hmmm. Would like to write more, but time just seems to get swallowed up. And soon it'll be a new year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Relief from Boredom at What Cost?

2 Cheap and Cheerful - The Kills

Was listening to The Kills on the train earlier today, and it came to this particular track. I really like it - it's got a dirty sly sort of groove to it, but. But. As cool as the lyrics sound, I can't help but raise my eyebrows into my rather mangled-self-trimmed fringe whenever I hear the words. I can see where they're coming from, and -do- actually like the lyrics from a certain viewpoint. But I can't help feeling the.... danger? of perpetuating such a frame of thought. It's the
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're boring baby when you're straight
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're stupid baby when you're sane

chorus that causes me to wrinkle my brow. Really now? As unpredictable and out of the ordinary a state of non-sanity might be, is it really 'exciting'? Well, not for the person involved, I think. And definitely not in retrospect.

But maybe I'm reading too much into things. Hmmm.

However, I've been thinking about Boredom quite a bit lately. I recall complaining about being bored quite a lot when I was a child (oh how becomming - a whiney brat), and for the past few months, I have been whinging about ennui and restlessness and boredom. But perhaps it's just my brain and physical self being lazy and not spurring myself into action and entertainment. I don't know.... I was reading a book I borrowed from the library at the patisserie place earlier today, and found myself completely gripped and absorbed, with a whole gamult of emotions coursing through my brain as I followed the dipping and swerving of the narrative. And the awe and admiration for the author's craft and skill spread through my consciousness. And all the while, wondering why I haven't been reading as much as I used to in the past. I blame laziness and too many interests that pull my time and dedication in so many diverse directions. Not to mention blow holes in my bank account. Urgh.

And then I think of my city exploratiory expedition yesterday, the first in a rather long while, and sitting there with a milk shake and letting my hand wriggle its way across the pages to form a letter.

And the tingling of my spine as I pipe a once very much loved but now seldom listened to song into my ears as I gaze through rain-streaked bus windows.

Being alive is good.

Boredom is an extravegance that the living can afford to luxuriate in. But it is also a frame of mind that placing oneself into results in a deadening of the senses and a wastage of heartbeats.

And so, I shall drift off to gaze at wonder at more black printed words on yellowing pages and leave you with the lyrics that I found slightly objectionable.

Cheap And Cheerful

I'm bored of cheap and cheerful
I want expensive sadness
Hospital bills, parole
Open doors to madness

I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're boring baby when you're straight
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're stupid baby when you're sane

I'm sick of social graces
Show your sharp-tipped teeth
Lose your cool in public
Dig that illegal meat

'Cause love is just a dialogue
You can't survive on ice-cream
You got to same needs as a dog

It's alright (it's alright)
To be mean (to be mean)
It's alright (it's alright)
To be mean (to be mean)

I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're boring baby when you're straight
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're stupid baby when you're sane

It's alright (it's alright)
To be mean (to be mean)
It's alright (it's alright)
To be mean (to be mean)

It's alright (it's alright)
To be mean (to be mean)
It's alright (it's alright)
To be mean (to be mean)

I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're boring baby when you're straight
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're stupid baby when you're sane

I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're boring baby when you're straight
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're stupid baby when you're sane