"It feels weird to give this story a name. Calling it a story in the first place makes it sound like it's fiction, like it's not real, like it didn't happen. But this story did happen, and this story does have a name. Because stories are alive like people, and if people have names so that other people can remember who they are and what they did, then why can't stories have names too?"

- The Patchwork Doll, by tsukiiruka


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Premium Movie-Watching Experiences in Singapore



It's the first day of Sophomore Year! And while I really love school, I love the holidays more.

So here's reminiscing all the fun I had by sharing about our premium movie-watching experiences in Singapore!

Sometimes you just feel like pampering yourself a little by watching the latest movie without having to jostle with a random movie-goer for the limited armrest real estate. There are 3 cinemas that offer a premium movie-watching experience for a limited selection of the latest movies if your wallet can afford the extra dollars.

Golden Village has Gold Class, Cathay has Platinum Movie Suites and Shaw Theatres has Premiere.

Darling and I watched Les Miserables and World War Z a few years ago at Vivocity Gold Class, but quite recently caught How to Train Your Dragon 2 The Cathay Platinum Movie Suites and Transformers: Age of Extinction at the Cathay Cineleisure Platinum Movie Suites.

Of our limited premium movie-watching experience, we most enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon 2 at The Cathay Platinum Movie Suites because they have the most comfortable leather seats with fabulous reclining positions and a blanket that keeps your warm and toasty throughout your movie! Although we tried out the Platinum Movies Suites at Cineleisure as well, our experience paled in comparison as the seats didn't seem to be able to recline to the same positions and the blanket was different too. One more difference I noticed was that the table light at The Cathay allowed you to adjust the brightness whereas you could only turn on/off the one at Cineleisure. The light was great for secretly poring over the menu to decide what to indulge in without disturbing the person next to you!

Another reason why I would pick The Cathay Platinum Movie Suites over Vivocity's Gold Class although I do remember it being pretty good is because we had quite a bad experience the first time we tried out Gold Class. We were celebrating Christmas with the Christmas dining experience with Les Miserables. Unfortunately, when we were seated we realized that Darling's seat wasn't functioning and couldn't recline at all. When we alerted the staff, THEN we were told that the seat was spoiled (which they were apparently already aware of) and they could only offer us one glass of wine in compensation. I was pretty upset seeing as how it was our first premium movie-watching experience AND we were celebrating Christmas. So after enduring the 3-hour long movie I went to speak to the manager about it. We were then offered a pair of Gold Class movie tickets in compensation which we used to watch World War Z.

Perhaps it's just me - but I am quite the stickler for decent service especially when I am paying a premium for your goods or services. After that incident I was quite turned off to trying any of the other theatres, and only got to trying out the Platinum Movie Suites this year. Glad we got to as well! The service at The Cathay was prompt and the staff were polite and professional though I felt the counter staff could have been a little bit friendlier.

The differences between Cathay Platinum Movie Suites and Vivocity Golden Village's Gold Class (can't speak for the other locations cos I haven't tried them out!) are:

1) Cathay's seats are leather while Golden Village has plush seats. (I prefer the leather feel!)
2) Cathay - Each 'section' of 2 seats has a privacy divider around them, while GV Vivocity Gold Class doesn't. (I like the privacy divider - really feels like you're in your own little luxurious world.)
3) Reclining - the positions are a little bit different and I think might fit each person differently depending on your individual build and stuff. I personally prefer The Cathay's over GV Vivocity Gold Class and Cathay Cineleisure's even.

So if you are interested in pampering yourself for a bit, here are the prices for you to compare!

Prices:

GV Gold Class:
$29 Mon-Thurs,
$39 Fri-Sun (Probably applies to Eve of PH & PH too)

Shaw Premiere:
2D Movies
$20 Mon-Thurs + not Opening Title/Sneak,
$25 Mon-Thurs + Opening Title/Sneak OR Fri-Sun/Eve of PH/PH

3D Movies
$25 Mon-Thurs + not Opening Title/Sneak,
$30 Mon-Thurs + Opening Title/Sneak OR Fri-Sun/Eve of PH/PH

Cathay Platinum Movie Suites:
$28 Mon-Thurs,
$38 Fri-Sun (Probably applies to Eve of PH & PH too)

One more great reason why I'd choose Cathay's Platinum Movie Suites:

They have the best promotions for students!

And unlike certain establishments - this promotion is valid for University students too :D

This deal is fantastic for date-days (hehe) if your schedule allows for it.

You're likely to have the theatre all to yourselves and you're paying half the price! This promo is only valid for the first two rows though, but they are the best seats in my opinion anyway haha.



or if you'd like to take your grandparents:


//

So as Day 1 of Year 2 draws to a close, I'm already dreaming of my schedule magically freeing up so I can enjoy a lazy afternoon with awesome student promotions that sadly always end at 5pm/6pm. I haven't tried out the Shaw Premiere yet and the prices look pretty good - so when I do get the chance I'll update with a comparison!

Here are the links again if you want to hop over for a quick look and what's showing:


Have fun!

If you wanna grab some grub before catching your movie at The Cathay, do also check out my post about my favourite Maki-San and Createaf Waffles!




Or if you wanna chow down on delicious plate after plate of Japanese fare, why not try Nihon Mura at $1.60 per plate?





Monday, 23 June 2014

I Thought.

I thought that growing up meant
that I could finally play at playgrounds
whenever I wanted.

I thought that the thrill in waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel,
was that sharp rush as you tumbled through covered slides.

I thought that I would get the privilege to scrape my knees in the rough sand,
as I flew forward, with the only thing stopping me, the ground.

I thought that when my childhood wounds had finally healed,
my childhood could finally begin

I thought that long walks in the park on a regular basis
could make up for all the lost moments
I spent distracted by my begging aches.

I thought that if you didn't get to experience life when you were younger,
that it would still be waiting for you when you were finally ready.

I thought when I no longer needed to box up my feelings
from people whose greatest pain was listening to mine,
that I would be free to live beyond those walls I created.

But even when I changed, life didn't.

I think of caging my emotions,
as I putt my faceless memories into moving boxes,
whose cardboard walls are too high for them to climb out of.

I think of the potential journeys rushing toward me in double-time,
that I maybe still won't be ready for,
because there is always something you need to take care of,
if not yourself, then someone or something else.

I think of the mountains I still won't climb,
or the valleys I still won't find myself in,
that will remain as they have always been to me,
unwalked but familiar in the faces of those I see.

I think of the childish trinkets now sleeping again
in the bottom of the boxes marked fragile
because I know that the next time I open them,
they might be too broken to play with.

I think of the scars that paint my skin,
that only remind me that through the years
whenever I did try to fly,
my flaws ensured that I stayed safe,
grounded, with the rest who were
unprivileged.

I think, as I stand at the corners of streets,
only moving on when given the green light,
breathing heavier when my feet are still on the road
when the light changes to red, but nothing else happens.

I try to think above the chatter of the bars I find myself in,
and hang around and nothing more,
holding on to cups of warm undrunk whiskey.


/
by tsukiiruka

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Chapter 8: Because You Love Me (A Tribute to My Mum)

The Patchwork Doll is a personal endeavour chronicling my real-life experiences battling eczema.

The Patchwork Doll by tsukiiruka
Chapter 8
Because You Love Me

When we are young, we tend to see our parents as superheroes, people who can do no wrong even if what they're doing isn't right. We mimic them, we reflect them, we believe in them. As we grow older and we see more of the world, we expand our minds, and sometimes that fantasy wears off. We see our parents for who they really are - humans, perfectly capable of making mistakes and committing great wrong. We diverge and we disagree. And sometimes we wonder out loud how we could ever believe them to be so great in the first place. Then we remember that they aren't just humans because they make mistakes and aren't perfect - they are humans because they bleed, they die, and they hurt too.

My mum always insists on working backstage, in the background, in the shadows, and absolutely detests having the spotlight on her. That's why I sometimes find it hard to appreciate my mum - not because she's lacking in any way, but because I am. We often go through life so fast and so furiously that we neglect our surroundings. Places and people fade into the background as we check the boxes on our to-do list. If you were to write down a list of things you appreciate your mum for, would you really be able to do so for certain? I wouldn't - because she has done many things for me without ever asking for credit or thanks that weird as it sounds, I can't ever be sure of all the wonderful things that in my heart I'm sure she has done for me. All I can gather, are all the little things I've managed to scavenge as reflections of her love. Perhaps, that's the only way that most of our parents are like superheroes - not because they are invincible, but because they commit some of the greatest deeds and keep order in our lives without ever really revealing their identities to us as the ones who were behind it all.

That's the kind of mother I have. So as I grow older, and I see her as someone who is just as human as me, I hope that I can remind her and myself of the kind of person that a younger me once thought her to be - not a superhero who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but a superhero who protected me, made me feel safe, and inspired me to strive to accomplish great things.

And because of her undying belief in me, I've grown to become confident in my abilities - both to survive and to excel. She taught me sacrifice, love, and to believe in the greater good. Belief is a wondrous thing - it can break us, or it can build us. Growing up with eczema wasn't easy for me, and I know that it wasn't easy for her as well. We feel the most helpless when we can do nothing to ease the pain we see our loved ones going through. But she really wasn't and still isn't as helpless as she thinks she is. In her small ways, she shows me great love. Many of us will probably end up with lists of things our mums have done for us that will sound very superficial such as cooking your favourite food, making sure you have clean clothes to wear, washing your dishes - but things are only regarded as superficial if there was never any underlying meaning to it.

This chapter is very different from all the others I've written about the people who've made my journey with eczema better, because it is the only one so far where I haven't described in detail what having eczema was like back then. But that's because when I think of my mum and how I grew up with eczema - I don't really remember pain or suffering as much. Instead, I remember her hands that soothed my weeping skin, all the cute and silly keychains she'd buy for me from the giftshop after every hospital visit, and feeling like I was the superhero.

And unlike any other chapter, as part of a video tribute for Mother's Day I've directed and produced a short film about her. In true fashion, the glimpses you see of an older lady are of my real mother who readily accepted helping me with this film... after confirming that she couldn't be identified.

I've never been more convinced writing this post that my mother is indeed a superhero in disguise.




If the youtube version doesn't load properly, here's an alternative link on vimeo:




Happy Mother's Day.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Daphne Paper: Sustainability & Social Change

This semester has been one heck of a ride.

Been occupied with so many things it's crazy, but I'm thankful for every single experience that's coming my way!

Just concluded Hell Week (and a half) today, with the final submission being a 1000-word reflection essay.

Recently wrapped up CS0900 as well - Communication Strategies for Sustainability & Social Change

Which makes blogging about Daphne Paper kind of apt!

Daphne Paper is different from many other notebook brands because it has a vision, one of sustainability and loving our Earth. Their products are made using Lokta paper - From the non-wood Daphne bush which regenerates at a sustainable rate. This craft is unique to the people of Nepal, and gives many of the women there sustainable economic activity to support their families and villages. (OMG all my CS0900 concepts are flooding into my head right now lol)

I LOVE notebooks, and I also love businesses with a heart for the community. It may not seem to be 'directly benefiting' our own local community - but I believe that anything you do to make whichever corner of the Earth a better place, makes the world an overall better place to live in and that's enough. Love has no boundaries, so if an endeavour is helping someone that's a good thing. We only have one Earth to call home, so let's all work toward sustainable development!

Here's a short clip of the founder of Daphne Paper, my social media marketing boss Qi Yun, trying her hand at making Lokta paper!




I entered their Time Scheduler contest to win some goodies:
Timekeeper scheduler, a Starbucks card, as well as a couple of Daphne Paper discount vouchers + pen & stickers!  

And yay here's the package I finally opened a few weeks after getting it!


Found this really cute haha.




All wrapped up!


Lovely shade of brown ^^


The Time Scheduler! Yes it's upside down ahaha



More goodies!


Such cute stickers!


A really cool card - check out the instavideo I posted to see how it opens!


Guess what! Daphne Paper is having yet another contest!



Taken from Daphne Paper's facebook post:

Simply download the Carousell app:
1. Like “DaphnePaper” on Facebook.
2. Follow “DaphnePaper” on Carousell.
3. Like AND Comment on our listing (http://carousell.co/p/3238074/) in Carousell which colour you’d like to win! + Quote your Facebook username.

& That’s it! You’re IN.

10 lucky ASPIRING ARTISTS will be chosen at random.
In addition, 3 lucky winners will also win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!
Giveaway ends 25th Apr.
Winners will be @mentioned via the Carousell app!

//

Good luck everyone! Hope you guys get some lovely goodies to enjoy too (:

Remember to spread the love and make the world a better place for everyone ^^


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Chapter 7: Awakening

The Patchwork Doll is a personal endeavour chronicling my real-life experiences battling eczema.

The Patchwork Doll by tsukiiruka
Chapter 7
Awakening

We all have our own 'inadequacies' - something that everyone else seems to have, but we lack. Something that everyone's able to do with relative ease, but never appears by our side. Something that makes us feel sometimes that we are lagging behind, not living as much, not as alive as others are or are able to be. We revisit conversational tidbits and storybook adages that tell us that we are not born equal, that everyone has different talents and abilities. But we never really understood them because that was never what we were quietly aching over.

And then we find that place in time and space where we are the people we've chanced upon in dreams, where we become the people we would always be in a different reality, comfortable, natural, and free.

And this is what debating and singing is to me - where I'm no longer a sleeping doll with dried red seams and tied up dreams, where we compete in the race of words, of dancing syllables, and of human truths. A place where I at once lose track of time and yet must be made acutely aware of it, because every second and all the milliseconds in between, are settlements for every living letter that kisses my lips goodbye as stories are spelt out. A place where breaths are timed to slip through the narrative's natural cracks, so that they can escape without slicing slivers of deliberate words and chosen tones. A place that paradoxically fills you with peace and adrenaline, a place of strength and vulnerability - of being what you want to be. A place where you live as the people around you live, rightful footing are now in place of once awkward steps, and you breathe as they breathe. A place where the rhythmic forwarding of tales echoing the beating heart that you are now keenly cognizant of is a comforting lullaby that caresses your mind into life. A place of no longer feeling inadequate, or out of place, because you are now one with the fleeting words bursting with colour and momentum and floating thoughts of every synchronised dreamer.

Who wears the mask then? The one you were born as, or the one you now become?

Then we remember that the question never really mattered, because we are not the sleeping doll birthed in a factory with a frozen face and useless grace in hinged limbs. We are not a mask, because our faces contort in countless ways that even we will never have the privilege of personally witnessing. We are not a sleeping doll because we react, we grow, we scream.

And it is in that place we remember and finally understand as we awaken, that
We live, we are alive, and we can be more than a doll with her default factory settings.


At a Debate Tournament. Photo Credits: Lucas Li




Despite having so much to do in so little time, was fired up to write this after watching the video below and being reminded of the joy and solace I find in certain things a midst the chaos and the noise.






Sunday, 9 March 2014

What is Your Story?

"Journalists should:
- Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

- Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief."

Seeing my newsfeed flooded with pictures of people grieving over the missing #MH370 makes me wonder whether journalists still even attempt to abide by this, in the undeniably cutthroat industry of news media, especially online.

And I wonder - would I myself be able to properly balance between the need for persuasive imagery in capturing the audience's attention and ensuring sensitivity for those that are captured in the image?

//

Posted the above status on Facebook after doing some readings for class this week. What I love about studying in WKWSCI is how literally everything I'm learning always links quickly to everything else that I read about or see in the world. I guess that's how I know that I'm finally where I belong in terms of choosing the right course or the right place of education - when what you're studying opens your eyes to the things you didn't used to see in the world, when you're now able to make instant connections between what your professor is excitedly talking about in lecture and what's happening to real people in your society, when everything your read or hear makes you think because you see scenarios being played out in your head and the lives of everyone this will have an impact on,

when you want to know what you can do to undo the mistakes of others, to salvage the bad situations, to begin to unravel the stories and untangle all the knots, to pursue the goodness in the world, and to make the world a better place.

That's when I know that everything I'm reading and hearing is not for naught, and that we all can make a positive difference in the world.

One thing that I always got a tad frustrated and upset at seeing is this:

"Faith in humanity restored"

because it's not really faith if it had to be restored isn't it?

We all need to play a part in keeping the faith and spreading love and goodness in this world.

Or at least, that's what I believe. If you really had so much faith in humanity, if you weren't focusing on all the bad things in the world, if you were seeking out the good and helping to propagate it, then you would see that humanity is the one thing that can never truly be eradicated from this world.

That for every bad thing that's happening in the world, you can just as easily find a good thing as well. The problem is that we're so good at remembering the bad, and dwelling on our hurts and losses, that some of us aren't taking the time to celebrate and marvel at all the goodness that does exist in this world.

Perhaps I'm not one to talk since well part of my blog is filled with stories of the nightmare that I once endured and the darkness that still occasionally creeps up on me. But here's the thing - I just as equally, if not more, celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened and are happening in my life.

If you can't change your life, change your perspective.

Back when my skin was still amazingly terrible, I used to have people tell me all the time that they felt sorry for me, that they pitied me, that I was a 'poor thing'. My retort to that was always to tell them that everyone has a different story to live, and this is mine. And that whenever I'm going through, I'm certain that it must be essential in bringing me to greatness, that it's somehow important for me to overcome it so that I can do something even greater.

I'm not delusional - I still cringe when I say that actually. But it's almost like I'm some character in a fairytale, some prince or princess or hobbit or even the dragon on a epic journey.

But aren't we all characters in stories? And as I typed this question, I suddenly remember why I started writing about my experiences with eczema in the first place and just re-read part of my first chapter/the words at the top of my blog:

It feels weird to give this story a name. Calling it a story in the first place makes it sound like it's fiction, like it's not real, like it didn't happen. But this story did happen, and this story does have a name. Because stories are alive like people, and if people have names so that other people can remember who they are and what they did, then why can't stories have names too?

And this is also why I love finding out other people's stories (heh in particular their love stories ^^) - because everyone has a unique journey. We may have common elements, common characters, common feelings even, but we all have different perspectives, different histories, and everything can lead us to different futures depending on the decisions that we make along the way.

Remember those stories you read where choosing a certain path brought you to a different page where you again had a different decision to face? Those were fun. And it was even more fun because you knew that you could always go back to the start, do it again, choose differently, and you'd do precisely that just to see how all the different scenarios played out.

Life isn't like that though, we can't turn back time, we can't go back to the first page and start the story again.

The only thing we can do is keep writing, keep turning the pages, and keep going forward in life. You may not be able to change the past, but you can most certainly decide your future.

So what story will you write?

As for me, one of the things that I'm trying to do is to keep the faith, and keep goodness going. And I posted this as my status yesterday:

Tried withdrawing money from the ATM at Bishan MRT this morning before work, only to have it return my card without dispensing money. Had to waste time standing at the ATM and calling the bank (while repeating the story to people who started queuing cos I didn't want them losing money too), and the lady on the line said it was a hardware issue and that according to the records the amount didn't get deducted. Was relieved to hear this and headed off to work (late!). Now that I've checked via ibanking though, turns out the amount did get deducted! Zzzz. THANKFULLY THOUGH, I am pleased to say that the lady I just spoke to on the DBS hotline, Phoebe, was very nice, polite, and efficient! She apologised right away very sincerely (which I must say did help cos I was quite irritated), and immediately presented me with a suitable course of action. No fuss no muss! I was still annoyed after the call and wondering how long it was going to take for it to be resolved but guess what - they refunded me the amount and she called me back to let me know this BEFORE I could even finish typing this post. I LOVE PEOPLE WHO TAKE THEIR JOB SERIOUSLY AND PROVIDE EXCELLENT SERVICE.

Update 11pm: Sent an email to Customer Service to commend the staff! It is only right to encourage and recognize people when they do wonderful things. DBS Bank. Living, Breathing Asia

//

And now to go back to the question at the very beginning of the post:

And I wonder - would I myself be able to properly balance between the need for persuasive imagery in capturing the audience's attention and ensuring sensitivity for those that are captured in the image?

I'd like to think so. And if I'm not able to do it now, then I'll learn how to.

Because the only way we can change the world, is if we start by changing ourselves.

So what's your story?

To be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday.
-Tsukiiruka 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

I'm Okay with Not Being Beautiful (But I'm not Okay with Other Things)

I'm sure being a good, decent, nice person is worth more than that.


What I'm going to say is not directed at the people who were actually involved in these scenarios... just in case they read this. These are thoughts that reflect my general outlook, merely illustrated by the chosen event(s).

I actually have a number of issues weighing on my mind, and after thinking about them (despite 5 looming mid terms/tests) I realized they all had a common theme so here it is:

I don't understand why some people seem to get so upset when they see others happy (or despite seeing others happy), and have no qualms about going out of their way to destroy it.

I get (beyond) infuriated and (tremendously) upset at this.

WHY. Would you want to interfere in someone's life? Surely you'd only do so to save them.

But if they're happy? Oh right, you still think you're saving them. (and some just don't care)

Issue 1:

This is something that I've been meaning to post for a long time but haven't because it's so hard to find the right words to say. Even now, I'm not sure what's the best way to say this, to accurately express my thoughts, to succinctly explain my feelings, but I'm going to try anyway because trying beats never trying at all. So here's dusting the cobwebs off a post that's been sitting as a draft for a while and clicking post:

I'm Okay with Not Being Beautiful.

Or being Ugly.

Or being Unattractive.

Or even having wounds that are Disgusting.

Hold on, relax, don't panic, I'm not bitter, have low self esteem, or have body image issues.

In fact, I feel the complete opposite.

I've accepted that my body is going to look a certain way, perhaps forever, perhaps it'll change, I don't know,

I've accepted that I'm not going to look like a hot model in short skirts and short shorts,

I've accepted that I'm fine with the way I look and that I have other things I'm good at, other ambitions, other priorities.

I'm just happy that my ambitions don't have to do with being some runway model or celebrity or superstar, because I'd probably never make it looking the way I look.

Quite recently, I've had an encounter with someone that was trying to make me look good (for good reason really).

I'm the sort of person who believes very strongly in improving oneself, "upgrading", "levelling up", in all aspects of my life. As long as it isn't against my values, doesn't hurt anyone, and it's genuine self-improvement resulting in a healthier, happier, more well-rounded person, why not improve oneself?

So I'm fine with learning tips and tricks to look better, to feel better, to do even greater things. As someone in the communications line somewhat, I'm also keenly aware that image is everything. I know that people buy into how you look and the way you deliver the message, sometimes unfortunately, much more than the valuable message you're delivering. I know that in order to effective in what I do, I also have to pay attention to the way I dress, the way I look, even down to the bag I carry and the wallet I have.

So I was fine with everything that was happening, until it came to this question thrown at me regarding my skin:

If you could completely heal your skin, get rid of the scarring, look better, wouldn't you want to?

-
-
-
-

And my answer was... no, not really.

Everyone has different life experiences, different preferences, different priorities.

For some, they may want to do because they'd genuinely feel better and less distressed because our judgmental society will no longer stare at them or continually ask questions when their scarred skin is exposed

(I continue to have friends shocked at my skin when they see it so I understand the feeling completely)

And that's fine, if that's what you want. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, or feel good.

But that's... not what I want.

I'm not saying it's something that I Don't want, but it's just not something that I feel is important to my achieving my dreams, my goals, or even staying happy.

Yes, Staying Happy.

I'm someone who's already happy, content, and passionate about what I'm doing in life. And that, has been the greatest healing factor (lol like Wolverine) for my skin.

Whenever I'm stressed out about embarking on some large scale project/entwined in an issue I don't like, am not passionate about, or don't agree with, my skin will FREAK OUT for me and be in a terrible, terrible state. Complete with open flesh wounds, dripping pus, and of course, fresh red blood.

I'm perhaps fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have a legitimate reason for myself to continue being a happy, content, passionate person, who needs to find new ways to make such passions sustainable.

My overall health has improved by leaps and bounds, so even when there are flare ups, I have no problems with managing it. Sometimes it still hurts, but it's nothing compared to the pain that I used to feel every day for 10 years.

But yes, I'm happy and content with the way I look. Really.

You know what makes me unhappy? When people are unhappy despite me being happy.

Issue 2:

Stereotypes are not the problem.

Differences in values are not the problem.

Diversity is not the problem.

Narrow-mindedness, perceived superiority, and just plain old meanness are the problems.

There will also be stereotypes - born out of the extreme limited knowledge and exposure that we have to certain topics, issues, people.

If we can admit to ourselves, understand, and remember, that all that we know is not all that there is to know,

if we can remain open minded to knowing more, exposing ourselves more to the world, finding out more,

and remain humble, and not devote a care to perceiving superiority, or judging what someone is worth based on who they are or what they've done,

(Bullying, Bullying)

to remaining nice. If you cannot bring yourself to be a contributive member of society

If you somehow, just somehow, cannot bring yourself to help make the world a better place,

Then just be nice.

Just nice.

To not say or do mean things.

Is that really so hard to do. Really.

Something that I still don't understand.

Whoever is reading this, just be open minded, okay?

Don't make the world a worse place to be in.

/

Same thoughts, different time:
Make the world a better place and think of yourself first.
Being Judgmental


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Scribbles of a New Year: Would You Attend My Wedding?




[Scribbles of a New Year, where I've done away with any hard sense of written structure and just... scribbled my verbal musings or the thoughts hidden in my head]

Right off the bat I'm going to say this:

Unless it harms another person in some way, then a person should not be made to feel bad for their choice of preference. Some people like blue, some people like pink. I don't stand for the notion of negative remarks, criticism, or just plain meanness when it comes to putting someone down or making them feel bad or strange because what they like or prefer isn't in accordance with what someone else thinks they should like. It is rude, ridiculous, and should be relegated to the darkest depths of humankind that hopefully should never surface. To disconfirm another's identity, existence, or quite simply, the freedom to choose or love is appalling and beastly. Why beastly? Because we are relying on what we 'feel' is wrong, our instincts. But don't people know that a lot of our instincts are trained? Instincts are not just inborn or innate feelings of right or wrong, they are conditioned into us, for us to rely on when time is of the essence and there is no time to think or consider. Instincts are meant to save lives, like jumping out of the way of a speeding car, or dodging a knife that's coming at you. Instincts were not meant to be relied on when they perpetuate stereotypes, or put people in their supposed places, or draw lines where there are none. Instincts are meant to save lives, not destroy them.

And it is on this note that I say this: For those who like their fairytale wedding, that's lovely. Go right on ahead, enjoy the wedding that you have envisioned with the beautiful satin and silk and knight in shining armour or handsome prince. That is your dream, I hope that it can and will be your reality. 

I believe that if you accept one extreme, you must accept the other if not both extremes can't exist. If it is fine and dandy for one to have an unconventional wedding, then it must be fine to have a conventional one. Neither should be scorned by mere relegation to a box or category. If we scorn one, we degrade the other and likewise.

So for me, I have my own version of what my dream wedding would be. And all I hope, as I've been describing to people for the past year or so, is that those who are used to a certain idea of what a wedding is (depending on your culture and society) would open their minds to it. Open not just to the idea, but open to remembering what the point of such a party, a celebration, is for. And while there is the option of come those who will and stay away those who won't, I like big parties unfortunately. Big, happy, noisy (but not too noisy) parties. So while those who matter won't mind and those who mind won't matter, I guess I still hope that those who are supposed to matter will indeed not mind.

If I could really have my way:
I'd have a big, open venue that doesn't cost much. One where people can breathe in the fresh air, and run around screaming without fear of causing a ruckus or damaging expensive chairs or tables or table runners or carpets.

I'd get people to bring yummy food as a wedding gift if they wanted to give something. Homemade shepherd's pie, baked brownies with some special recipe, even a tub of KFC because well I really like fried chicken.

I'd order pots of curry chicken from my favourite 'bubble tea shop' in the heartlands because it's one of my favourite things to eat when I'm with him. It's delicious, it's cheap, and the shop holds so many fond memories of our countless afternoons or evenings spent there just enjoying the food and each other's company, of conversations of times past when he was a young boy and used to eat there too.

I'd make him cook. Not the aglio olio he's quite happy about and his housemates like eating, but packets of chicken flavoured instant noodles with lots and lots of egg stirred into the piping hot soup. Because it is the meal that fills my tummy and warms my heart when we are busy doing our work but I am hungry. It is the meal that he will prepare when I turn to look at him with big questioning eyes and a kiddish pout and he stops all he is doing to make sure I don't starve (ok fine I don't starve because I'm always eating), and every bite to me is the most delicious thing in the world. I love it because it really is delicious (I swear), but also because it is made with love, patience, and care - cornerstones of everything needed to make good in the world.

What might be the most expensive thing on the wedding menu - Canada dry ginger ale imported from the Great White North (unless they already have it here then yay) because it reminds me

of how I was freezing in the house while he insists it is warm weather when it is anything above -10 or -15, 

of when I fell down on the steps the moment I stepped out because of the surprising ice from the night before, 

of when I was happily squishing my cute, pink, furry, winter boots into the snow all the way to town and loudly proclaiming "mush! mush! mush!" with every step not knowing there was a lady behind me because when I wear my winter hood I can't hear anything much and then she suddenly appears and says "really interesting sounds effects!" with a laugh and a smile but I couldn't hear what she said anyway so didn't feel too embarrassed until he told me what she said.

For the decorations:

I'd have a lightsabre archway. We've discussed and I'm willing to allow black roses with gold gilded edges to be entwined around the lightsabre archway because it will definitely look prettier and pretty is nice and I like nice.

I'd want lightsabres on every table instead of candles or chocolates or bears or flowers. And people can just pick them up and have epic lightsabre duels.

But of course, all in all, I'd like colour coordination for the whole thing.

For the activities:

and this is perhaps my favourite part.

I must have a great big dancefloor. Must. And the DJ should be equipped with a wide, wide range of songs. Not just pop or modern. I need the oldies that I like, and the DJ should have the metal songs he likes. And whatever has a good beat and the vibe that we are feeling at the time will be played and people should just be dancing and having a great time without thinking about how they look or worry about people laughing at them. Just like the time we danced (or moved in an awkward manner if you're going to be picky) like crazy at the New Year's Eve party after the medieval dinner and tournament (something that I've always, always wanted to go to and finally got the chance to!!) and screamed the lyrics to Livin' on a Prayer and Billie Jean and when I was singing along to Holiday(!... Celebrate!) because I love oldies and was telling him about my friends having a hard time when we have a performance because I don't know any modern pop songs and they don't know the oldies I know lol

And then, loads and loads of non-laggy computers with L4D2 and CS and DoTA and whatever makes sense and we can all play overnight and well however long the party (and money I suppose) lasts. And when people get tired and hungry we can all order Mcdelivery or go eat pad thai to refuel before continuing.

For attire:

I can't say I don't want people to be all dressed up and look pretty and handsome because I like dressing up. But the most important thing would be for people to be comfortable because I hate being uncomfortable most of all and people should dress nicely and comfortably so that they won't have to leave halfway or sit down the whole night resting their feet instead of dancing because they wore uncomfortable heels that hurt or are too high to dance sigh

I hate wearing heels because they hurt and so I wear shoes that are comfortable that allow me to run and skip and even walk (don't know why this even has to be mentioned!) happily and teach and learn because if people have wisdom to share why do you subject them to torture in order to project an certain image before you deem them worthy enough for you to listen it is ridiculous.

And maybe because I was in pain for such a considerably long part of my life now that my skin has healed I refuse to subject myself to even more pain because now I am finally feeling free and happy and able to feel perhaps the most bittersweet feeling in the world: alive.

Not the walking dead because my mind is numb in trying to block out the pain and my energy is sapped in healing or even because I'm limping or literally dragging my legs half the time because I can't stretch my skin without tearing the wounds open and of course having loads of bloodied wounds makes me literally look like the walking dead but yes I am no longer the walking dead and I never want to go back there.

/

So my vision of a dream wedding is this:
A great big celebration of love, pure and simple.

Weddings are meant to reflect the union of two people. These two people, with histories, preferences, unique lives. Why shouldn't these be allowed to be reflected? And all the above are what I'd like to share in order for people to 'relive' our journey. Not just passively watching a slideshow of pictures, or worrying about how much they should put in the angbao.

I imagine a village celebration (not that I've ever been to one) where people gather and bring food they've cooked that afternoon and drink and chat and be happy and noisy, where some folks from out of town return to celebrate with everyone. 

A great big party.

So if you were invited to my wedding would you attend? And would you attend happily?

//

Happy 2014, and may your life also be a great big party and celebration.


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Feel Closer to Home (With Google)



A few weeks ago I decided to apply for the IAB Fellows Program, supported by Google in partnership with Hyper Island - a digital marketing and advertising program.

The application form challenged us to do something creative to convince them of why we should get a spot - a video, tweet, even an instagram picture.

Having never tried my hand at making a video before, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity! I wrote a script, tried storyboarding, and scrambled to find clothes and props etc. I filmed the whole thing by myself using a point and shoot camera without a tripod stand! So there are definitely some not-so-excellent quality scenes in there. Tried re-shooting the scenes but just couldn't get it right. Will definitely need to learn more techniques to shoot better scenes next time!

The inspiration behind this video was about how I used all sorts of Google programs to connect with my darling who is currently overseas (which you already know because I have... another video of a speech I made about it! Haha).

So while I didn't get in (yes, be sad for me aww), it was definitely a fun and enriching experience for me no matter how short it was. The time, effort, and money (I paid to use the song, felt that it matched what I wanted to convey really well!) spent on it was worth it. Will definitely be learning more about camera angles and things like that sooooon!

Speaking of advertising and marketing - my social media marketing internship boss' birthday is TODAY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOSS QIYUN

Thank you for being so awesome, and teaching me so many things throughout the internship. I'm so glad to have met you, as well as Nicole/Nikkiko (who is now my school senior woohoo)! Thanks for always keeping us in mind and in your heart hehe. Thank you for the opportunities that you have given me even after I completed the internship. May you have happy and fruitful days always!

Go check out her entertaining blog filled with her thoughts and reviews here!


To end off, here's the quote I came up with and used in my video that really sums up what I feel when anyone who's important to me isn't around:


Feeling homesick because home is where the heart is and my heart is with you <3




Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Original Poem: My Eulogy's Not Your Apology

If I die tomorrow,
Will you remember me,
Everything I ever was,
And all I longed to be?

When you come to my funeral,
What will you say?
Will it be the same
As your words to me today?

Will it matter how I died,
In whose hands I perished,
Or is it more important
How I lived, if I was cherished?

The headlines will all read
That a girl was found dead,
With no obvious wounds,
Just lying in her bed.

Look closer if you dare,
Look closer and you'll see,
Looking right back at you
With eyes wide open, is me.

And then you will, as usual
Turn away, try to pretend,
Erase the sight from memory,
Twist the truth, but it won't bend.

And as usual though you've turned,
My eyes just won't close.
I continue gazing at you
Stuck in my frozen pose.

When you finally reach out your hand
As you should've long before,
Instead of always kicking me
And showing me the door,
You'll know just how late you are
As your hand touches my skin.
Reaching out won't touch my heart.
Like you, I'm now ice within.

You recoil like you always do
When I share with you my pain,
Even when my blood doesn't flow
Somehow, you stab me yet again.
With thoughts that focus on yourself
On what you could've done,
To absolve you of the guilt you feel
As though you shot me with a gun.

The wounds may not be obvious,
The weapon's clearly concealed
But look beyond the surface
And all will be revealed.

If words carried no weight
Like we'd like to believe,
How do words convince someone to love,
Yet cause another to grieve?

Let it weigh heavy on your conscience,
Though it won't be for long,
You'll be at it soon again
Since you never thought it wrong.

As you can tell, nothing changes
Not even when we die,
Even when people gather
At your funeral and cry.

So if I die tomorrow
Please don't cry for me
Because all I ever wanted
Was simply to be free
From words that sting
And cut and blind
And wound and graze
And sear and grind
And burn and hurt
And maim and slice
From people who don't bother
To ever think twice.

For my murderers who seek redemption,
In case I die tomorrow,
Who think their sorry will change things
And take away my sorrow,
Your future cannot change your past
Even if you change today.
Sorry for your sorry,
But I died yesterday.



This particular poem was written for the same module that I wrote Crossing Lines for.

But for this part of the module, we have to incorporate our writing in more than one medium i.e. it cannot just be writing. You could incorporate it in a song, a video, a play, or some audience-interactive item.

Here are the pictures of my project!



You find the starting point of the tape, and slowly unravel it to read the poem.





The words are small, the tape is delicate, and the poem is long, so take as long as you want to read it










The last part of the poem is inside the coffin, so you'll have no choice but to open it to complete your reading.





The final phrase of the poem.





Then you realise that the coffin is empty, except for this note.



//

If you have ever used your words to bully others, please stop.

Sometimes, people forget (or ignore) just how powerful their words can be.

Words can heal, but they can also destroy.

Words can encourage, but they can also threaten.

Words can change a person, for the better or for the worse.

Words change the person who speaks it, and the person they're spoken to.

So at the end of the day, be prudent with your words.