Monthly Archives: April 2014

We got Chrysanthemum~

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I’ve been in love with the Jellycat Bashful Bunny series for a long time. I saw them in Hastings, in York, in Nottingham and I think even in Lisbon. So after much deliberation, I finally decided to bring one home.  And I named her Chrysanthemum.

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She fits perfectly in my arms and on my lap, and makes a good study buddy for this exam season.

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And also a general cuddle buddy for those cool sunny afternoons

 

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✽゜*Look up *゜✽

No one can predict the future

On my first spring break, I

1. Chilled in the park often  PicMonkey Collage

2. Combed the supermarkets in the area for limited edition Kinder Surprise eggs

3. Took full advantage of the 2 for 1 offer at the newly opened bubble tea store near our hall

4. Queued for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream  twice on free cone day (which barely took 10 minutes each time)

5. Feel in love with pastel colours, floral patterns and jelly sandals (i.e. shopped a lot)

 

IMG_2239It’s been so difficult keeping indoors when the weather is so lovely outside. With about a week down to our exams, it’s about time to hit the books. The weather has turned slightly rainy, as if to encourage us to stay in. But even the rain doesn’t feel too miserable now. It kinda feels like, it’s time to move forward into the future, and not give up(´ω`*)Nobody can predict what might lie around the corner after all. 

✽゜* Plant your dreams in hope, not fear 

And water each day with love, not tears *゜✽

 

Fear of Writing: The smell speech

A few weeks ago, our Singapore Society staged the play “Fear of Writing” by Tan Tarn How. It was staged in an oddly appropriate small theatre called the Garage Theatre, hidden in a small, dim alleyway where some rubbish bins and other paraphernalia had been stashed. This is an excerpt from the play from Tan Tarn How’s blog, one that I found deeply penetrating.

Tan Tarn How Too

Actor (as Writer): I once lived in a place which was almost perfect. It was beautiful in many ways. It was safe and clean. People were nice and polite. All the services one could want were a handy distance away. I had a nice job. The only problem was there was a faint almost imperceptible smell hanging in the air all the time. It was just the slightest hint of an odour, actually, always wavering just below or just above the limits of my ability to sense it, so sometimes I could smell it for sure, however weak, and sometimes I could almost not smell it, if you get what I mean, so I couldn’t tell whether the smell that I couldn’t smell was there or not, or was just a trick of my memory or mind. I don’t know if I am making sense in saying that something…

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Night Dances

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Late at night at Trafalgar Square. Around us the city is alight and moving. Someone’s playing music, and we dance and sing and hug and laugh and spin.  Around our circle rollerbladers glide over stone tiles as though on ice. A gentle stranger names us – one Intelligent, one Crazy, one Beautiful and oh, one who words cannot capture, only silence – the space where magic plays. “This one, I’m not gonna say anything”.

We climb up the pedestal at the base of Nelson’s Column. I clamber up in my little drop-waist dress. The girl whose name is magic, she leaps over walls and ascends high places with grace. Strangers are entranced. Intelligent looks at us and says, yep, this always happens.

IMG_2152In the cool night air, we drift into our solitary spaces. Magic and Intelligent walk around the pedestal. They enter each other’s solitude like two drops of water enter each other. Me, I lie down and feel the smoothness of cold stone against my back. Above my head, the column rises high, and admiral Nelson stands watch by the gibbous moon amidst scarce stars. The city lights – red, yellow and purple – outline the curves of our backs and the strands of our hair, outline the fine hands of Magic as she fingers her cigarette. Light ripples over the backs of the black stone lions as Intelligent and Crazy attempt to scale their rumps. They laugh and say, we were defeated. Above them their stars chide each other and blink.

I’m all quiet and restless again but still I wonder, how could you not fall in love with a city like this?

And how will your night dances
Lose themselves. In mathematics?

Such pure leaps and spirals –
Surely they travel

The world forever

~ The Night Dances, Sylvia Plath

Why I’ve Been Pressing the Repeat Button on Orange Caramel’s Catallena

Oh my, she’s so great, I’ve fallen for her
Even as a girl, I can see she’s so great

어머머머 멋있어 반했어
어쩜 같은 여자끼리 봐도 참 멋있어

 

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Orange Caramel. As an After School fan, it would be sacrilegious not to show support for their sub-group. But I tend not to be a fan of in-your-face cutesy K-pop concepts. OCa is something else again, with their humongous ribbons, big skirts and costumes that look like expensive Halloween outfits.

Catallena is their latest song. It’s difficult to understand the song without reading the English lyrics and watching the MV several times. OCa themselves say little to explain it, except that “Catallena” (represented by comedian Kim Dae Sung, no less) refers to a girl who is picky and snooty, but who everyone wants to be with anyway. The metaphor used to express this tension is, in true funky OCa style, a sushi belt.

I didn’t immediately fall in love with the video. But I kept replaying it because the humour, irony and exaggeration in the song provided something for my mind to chew on.

Some have suggested that the sushi belt is a metaphor for the heavily saturated k-pop industry, where potential stars are fished out from a sea of eager teenagers, and comeback line-ups come in waves to impatient critics who are quick to stamp a value on them. The girls look with envy at more popular stars, yet can’t help but feel drawn to them at the same time.

For me personally, the song explores that ambiguous feeling we can have for our same-sex counterparts who we are simultaneously drawn to and repelled by. For most of us, I think, our Catallenas don’t disappear after high school. And with distinctive, intelligent and entertaining imagery, the song vividly expresses that that curious tension that is a mix of admiration and disappointment, the wanting to be like and wanting to be different.

Good job, I’ll give you 100 points

참 잘했어요 100점 만점 주고파

Tangled

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One can be homesick without missing home.

Waking up is like grasping into empty space. Your being is awoken to some shapeless longing that has neither the substance of pain nor the burn of romantic desire, yet makes itself known by the silent gaps that you can no longer fill, the ones that used to be filled by the rhythm of your old life. You cannot attach your longing to a person or a place, but only clumsily to some vague notion of belonging, marked by nostalgic settings, sounds and shadows.

Perhaps what you are longing for is safe space, where you can fall down and not be afraid. But already the gulf between you and those who can provide it is racing. Those threads that stretch from your heart to theirs, they are wearing thin, but tug harder with the distance. Torn, you walk through the streets, trying to lay down a circle with your footsteps, to carve out the shape of protection. But already you’re not quite sure how to find the point your line began.

Your wandering traces the contours of your scars across the landscape of silence. If we could wipe out the past and obliterate the future, then perhaps we could fly free, and breath deep again. But you are weak, twisted and tangled, and you can only hold your knees and feel cold water cover your head as you sink into a strange sea, soothed and suffocated all at once.