Friday, January 30, 2009

Give Me Mo'

I am loving this man's music.

Not my find because i only found out about him through ken, who arrived home jubliantly after salvaging his cd from the second-hand bookstore.

he's going straight into my ipod.

16 Things You Never Knew About Me

Since I got fingered for this little exercise, thought I just might try it out.

1. I can't ride a bicycle.

2. I have a blue mole on my left shoulder.

3. I am very good with commercial jingles. Show it to me once and I'll remember it for life.

4. I look horrible with hats and glasses on.

5. My secret style guru is Kate Moss (but I am always too embarrassed to admit it).

6. I cannot remember multiplication tables past 6 ( I really dunno what is 7 x 8).

7. I have read every book in the Nancy Drew series but I hate Sweet Valley High (and V.C. Andrews).

8. I think I might be allergic to chocolate (my skin reacts very badly to it).

9. Since swearing off chocolate, my NBF is cocoa.

10. I HAVE to eat fried chicken when I am upset.

11. I have never eaten tao suan and kuey chap in my entire life.

12. I cannot swim with my head under water (which means I can only swim breaststroke).

13. My favourite pastime of the moment is pumping petrol in my car ( and going for automated car washes).

14. I can't eat raw onions. They stink too bad.

15. I love trawling gossip websites and magazines for celeb fashion boo-boos. It's therapeutic and it's nice knowing they are all human like me.

16. I have been failing Mathematics since I was in Primary Four.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fall Into Winter

2008 has zipped by in a flash since my temporary absence.
the months has been busy with the usual load of presentations and hand-wringing over my thesis, on top of house cleaning, still more home decoration (we now have TWO study desks and i even set up a very elegant, good-enough-to-rival-all-those-Metro-ones Christmas tree! *puffed up pride*), and a thoroughly enjoyable trip with my family who flew in for a visit at the end of december.
in the midst of everything i managed to turn 28. the internet connection exists like a mirage (japanese bureaucracy is a force to contend with) and my KFC chicken (two pieces only) came belated, but three stalks of roses in my mailbox made me a very happy woman. last year's birthday was literally spent counting my blessings. friends and family remembered the occasion through messages and email, and it was a great source of comfort knowing that i wasnt forgotten by everyone back home.
earlier this week i was watching an NHK special about Coming-of Age Day (12th january). the programme featured the owner of a photo studio in Kobe struggling to cope with the immediate aftermath of the 1995 Hanshin earthquake.
the quake struck just after the annual coming-of-age ceremony for youths in japan who officially turn 20 that year, and the studio owner was struggling to deliver the developed prints to the girls who had patronised his studio to take commemorative photos in their ceremonial kimono.
what began as a obligatory task to deliver photographs to his customers soon developed into a dedicated mission of sorts when the studio owner realised that most of his customers' physical addresses had been reduced to piles of rubble by the earthquake. the studio owner doggedly trundled across all the relief centres he knew on bicycle, and with every girl he managed to locate and deliver the pictures to, he would write the words "無事" (safe and sound) against her name scribbled in his notebook.
in total, there were 84 girls who patronised his studio that year. the owner managed to locate each and every girl and accounted for their safety.
ten years on and the studio owner decided to revisit his own memories of the quake by offering to take free studio shots of the 84 girls he encountered in 1995, although only 8 women responded to a poster he pasted on his shop window. those 8 women talked about how they got by after losing their loved ones and physical belongings after the disaster, and how the past ten years had been for them. the programme ended with this question to the viewer:
「この10年間、あなたはいかが過ごしましたか?」 ("How have you lived the past ten years of your life?")
ten years ago i was 18 and freshly enrolled into university. i knew not a word of the japanese language and life was just beginning to open its doors to me.
in the time that has passed since then i have made both the best and worst decisions of my life, fallen down hard on my knees, known some of the best people that have since continued to colour my days and experienced the immense joys and sadness of being in love.
ten years on and i am possibly headed in a direction completely different from the one i had imagined for myself back when i was 18. there is, of course, little point in asking myself if it is a path towards the better, and i wouldnt want to compromise the situation of things by turning this exercise of retrospection into one tinged with regret over the things i did or didnt do.
that being said, i hope i did the 18-year-old Me proud. i hope she can look at the Me now and be heartened that i have crafted her life into something less ordinary, something of meaning.
in year 2009 i have a few other resolutions along with the compulsory ones about writing a good thesis and scoring a good job. they are, in no particular order:
1. to think before i speak, to say only the things that matter and keep silent on the things that dont.
2. to take better care of myself, both physically and emotionally. (this sounds like a joke, but moisturizing my skin is of utmost importance this year.)
3. to learn how to convey my emotions to the people who matter.
4. to readily and openly admit my mistakes and wrongdoings and learn to say sorry without feeling sore about it.