Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Being Busy (not really)

Exams are here! They are upon us!

I have a couple of weeks and am resting it up at my holidays right now. It's a good idea to start studying for my upcoming exams, but not so! No! I shall never! Instead, I have been catching up on Bones episodes and half-watching Hollywood Blockbusters that I don't even like, such as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Yes, I am so lame I am watching the first one when the sequel just came out. Even lamer, I didn't even finish it because I was so disinterested.

In all honesty, I am just procrastinating. I don't want to study for my exams, so I am doing anything to avoid studying. Looking at the books just reminds me how much work I still need to do and how little I actually know. It's daunting and I am afraid to begin.

Let me speak, instead, of The Godfather which I just viewed yesterday for the first time of my life. First off, I am a huge lover of old Hollywood films (so. much. glamour), so it was a bit of a shock to see the wonderful marlon Brando turn from this..


Don't get me wrong. Vito Corleone is awesome in every sense of the word. But I was having a bit of trouble reconciling the incredibly youthful and attractive young man to the powerful Mafia crime boss. It was sad to realise the effects of old age on a face even as handsome as Marlon Brando's - rest in peace.

But aside from that, I was also shocked by how good-looking the young Al Pacino was. I watched the film with my friend and did not recognise him for the awkward ol' Shylock from the movie adaption of The Merchant of Venice until my friend pointed it out. Even then it took a lot of convincing and internet searching to confirm that Al Pacino does, in fact, play Michael Corleone. Wow. Again, TIME!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Movie Hitlist

Okay, my end-of-year movies to watch are growing. So far, the main contenders are:

- The Great Gatsby
- Les Miserables
- Life of Pi

I am beginning to feel unsure about Gatsby since the trailer was released. I mean, I know Baz Luhrmann's style from the red curtain trilogy was uncoventional and I found it effective in Moulin Rouge, but how can he give that kind of voice to Gatsby? I am curious to see what he makes of it and how he will turn it to his advantage because I have never imagined Gatsby filmed in this way.

Life of Pi is a must. It's being directed  by Ang Lee, possible one of my favourite directors. His "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was very beautiful and I am eager to see a film adaption of one of my most beloved books. I am interested to see how he will display the conflict between Pi and the tiger and how he chooses to interpret it because the beauty in the book is the reader's own ability in needling out their own interpretations. Obviously, with a movie, that is a lot harder to do because everything we see is how the director sees it. It takes a skilled director to give the film the same amount of ambiguity that the book has, but I have great faith in Lee. The Trailer has not yet been released.

It only recently came to my attention that Les Miserables was getting a remake this year after I wikipedia-ed it after I watched the fantastic 25th anniversary concert. I have been let down by all previous versions of the musical - my favourite musical of all time - and I am pleasantly surprised by the ensemble cast line-up. Here, just to name a few:

Javert - Russell Crowe
Valjean - Hugh Jackman
Fantine - Anne Hathaway
Cosette - Amanda Seyfriend
Eponine - Samantha Barks
Marius - Eddie Redmayne
Master Thenadier - Sacha Baron Cohen
Madame Thenadier - Helena Bonham Carter
Enjolras - Aaron Tveit

I KNOW ALL THESE PEOPLE! It must be a first for a movie where the many leading roles are all being played by people I know! This is because I am not very pop-culturally diverse. I think the cast has been spot on. Admittedly, I was hoping that the role of Eponine would go to Lea Michele just because she sings so beautifully and actually did one of Eponine's songs (On My Own) on Glee and she just looks like how I imagined Eponine. But Samantha Barks sang the part of Eponine in the 25th anniversary concert and I was blown away. I am still very happy with the casting. 

Anna Hathaway sang "I Dreamed a Dream" in the trailer and from what I can see from the clip montage, the acting looks very promising and Hathaway does this rendition very poignantly. I think the best casting decision of all goes towards Master and Mme. Thenadier. The roles are perfect for the two actors! They previously worked together on Sweeney Todd and the performances they gave to their roles in that film more than convinces me on their performance here. I am bursting with excitement just to see their rapport with each other and with the screen. In no version, musical or film-wise, have I ever liked Cosette. She's always too good and too sweet and has everything to be likeable. I much prefer Eponine whom I can empathize with. But I like Amanda Seyfried and she's proved she can sing with "Mamma Mia!", so who knows? Maybe she can change my mind. Eddie Redmayne I know from "The Other Boleyn Girl". He also starred in the acclaimed biopic "My Week With Marilyn", but I've really only seen him in a very minor role. But he looks as I imagined Marius would, so there is much potential in this character. Aaron Tveit comes from "Gossip Girl". I greatly enjoyed his character on the show, and heard him in clips where he played Roger in "Rent", another musical and one I really enjoy. He has a strong voice which will fit nicely with the passion and vigour of Enjolras, I think.

And as for our two leads - well! Russell Crowe has the stern look DOWN. He will be a fantastic Javert. I've never heard him sing, but from his many roles (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind), he will have no problem showing Javert in a relatable way so the audience will be able to understand his fragility and reasons for being so rigid. As for Hugh Jackman, Mr. Wolverine will be tackling the role of 24601. I must say, I never really had an idea of what Valjean was supposed to look like, so Jackman fits it as nicely as many other diverse actors. I can easily believe him as Valjean. I haven't seen that much of his work, so I don't know how he will portray him, but honestly I do not think the character of Valjean is as complex and Javert.

It looks like a great Christmas and New Years for 2012!

Returning and Leaving

I''ve almost forgotten I had this blog. It has been a very long time since I wrote anything. Mostly, I think it's because I don't have much to say anymore. Rather, I think too much and I can't type fast enough to share it. It's an awful feeling.

I think it is safe to say our lives are governed by fear. We are lucky to be afraid of the things we are nowadays - Biology exam, getting into tertiary study, finding a job. The problem with us - these inhabitants of first world countries, myself included, is that we constantly forget our opportunity and our liberty and the infinite possibility of hope. We complain and laze around and make excuses, but we are the fortunate ones.

I have been whining about my misfortunes lately and worrying about my own future. But in the end, a friend helped me realize it doesn't matter - none of it. In the end, things will work out. I think there is much truth in that statement. I am afraid now of not "making it" or "failing", but more so, the chance that when I do, nobody will help me and nobody will understand and I will receive nothing my false sympathy and judgement.

Who cares?

Of course, it is easy to put on a brave front about it, but if I can thicken my hide enough, that's all it comes down to - what does this mean to me? And if it means nothing, then it's nothing!

I have been watching Dance Academy lately. It's an Australian Young Adults TV Show. The acting is not to a terribly high calibre and I know more than more person who would not classify as particularly quality television. But I actually really enjoy it. Of course, it has the aforementioned faults, but there are some very touching messages in the amongst the many relationships and convoluted plots.

First of all, it tackles the idea of death in a very mature way. I was surprised. To be honest, when that episode came up, I was almost dreading it because something TV never does well is death. Here, not everything is perfect, but something to remember is the idea that it would be nice to know just the instant before death, that you were here, you were loved and you existed. This is a comforting thought to me.

I am still very much the scared little person afraid of death and what comes after this life is over. But, with this wording, I can furthermore believe that it doesn't matter. It's like falling asleep - our consciousness has completely switched off. We aren't aware of anything. What we are afraid of is the process. Hamlet said it well. We are more afraid of the unknown, so we prefer to stick with our lot in life, no matter how miserable.

Other great ideas conveyed in the show is the idea that after you experience true grief, you no longer long to "fly". You know better now. You live life with your feet on the ground and your eyes open. And that is a fantastic philosophy. Granted, I don't believe I have experienced any life-crushing grief yet. There have been tears, no doubt, but nothing to change or really shape me as a person (unless I just haven't realised it). But it's so beautiful to understand that whatever happens, we accept it and embrace it like a sibling to become part of yourself and become a better person in the process.

So, continue judging me, self-proclaimed hipster friends! I will unabashedly watch my trashy TV and feel happier because of it. And, as part of my new self-appreciating programme, I will not care!

Here's hoping I will develop another coherent thought soon so I can make another post.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It's now, the rest of my life. I'm flying tomorrow, which I guess is exciting in itself (I'm one of the few people that actually kind of like airplane food), and my life is beginning. Granted, it's been beginning for quite some time now, but I feel a sad detachment from all my belongings, feeling for the first time that I really am growing up, it's time to wave goodbye to excuses of immaturity and shoulder up the burden of adulthood.

Let me tell you, it is not fun. I would much rather stay careless and unknowing. But, alas, time prevents me from becoming Peter Pan. Now, I must sleep. There is too much to say and I must say it all at once or not say it at all. So I'll save my imminent rant for a more appropriate time.

Good night limited readers out there. God bless you all.



Monday, April 11, 2011


I have an awful time with trying to post regularly. Let's face it, when I'm angling for minimum four hours sleep, there just isn't enough time to blog about my misfortunes (many as there are).

Term 1 has nearly been completed. It's shocking how quickly the time really does go by. Recent developments such as a big earthquake means certain changes to the life as I knew it. I'm not good with change. And by not good I mean I scream and cry and beg before I like to accept that change is inevitable and no amount of my antics will prevent it. Some people are "movers". They can't stay still. They've got to keep changing jobs, houses, relationships. I'm a "stayer". I like to find a nice little niche of my own and squat there until the cows come home. I don't suppose that makes for a very exciting life, but then again, I'm not exactly a very exciting person.

At times I like to sink into a deeper, more philosophical self. My friend calls this depression, although that term is nowadays being used all too loosely and does not really apply. It feels cleansing to reflect on problems deeper than myself and all my worldly wonders. Still, I will admit that this pondering causes me to feel somewhat fearful of what lies outside of my tiny little corner. Nobody wants to discuss questions of existence with me. I think I commented on this in another blog post, but nobody likes to touch on the subject on death.

I am afraid of dying. I'm a weak, lily-livered coward that just doesn't want to let go. For me, Death is the ultimate change. My mother tells me it's because I have such a happy life - which I really do - and I can't stand to let go of it. I think that's definitely true, especially for someone who just professed her hatred for change. But lately, I haven't been thinking about it as much, or if I have, it's with a layer of tranquility. I won't lie completely and say death doesn't freak the hell out of me, but I think I'm coming more to terms with it. After all, change can be good.

Enough with the heavy thinking. I am going to do some homework, feel some minor accomplishment and go to bed with a smile on my face knowing that I'm still young - despite my lower back pains and abundance of white hair - and tomorrow is another glorious 24 hours for to enjoy being what I am before any change has to be made. And that is a comforting though.

Much love!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

For the First Time

Well, how time flies. Just as I was getting used to the idea of 2010, 2011 has surprised me. I can't get my head around the fact that a whole year has snuck by without my noticing. I was disappointed with last year. Maybe not entirely with the circumstances, but more with myself.

I do have very high expectations of myself: whether it be my academia, my social life, or family, I expect many things of myself (too much, in fact). With all the expectations piling up, I feel like I can never achieve enough to feel satisfied. It is not a good feeling to constantly feel like you're never enough: in fact, it's terrible. So I spent practically the whole year last year feeling worthless and miserable. Of course, this reflects on my behaviour, making my social life a disaster too. It's like a domino effect. The first domino falls and the rest will follow. I was cranky and snarky... it didn't feel good either to treat people nastily.

I didn't like myself last year. I was underachieving, I was lazy, I was mean, I was disorganized. And to top it all off, my Grandmother passed away which was very sad. I need more positivity. So I have decided only I an help myself. There is no magic fairy that will wave away my problems. I have lots of problems and I need to resolve them with my own will and perseverance.

So, it's great that 2011 has just begun. I am looking forward to a new year, a fresh start. I love fresh starts. My room is an utter mess now (did I mention I'm finally home again!) since I haven't unpacked, so that'll be the first step towards starting afresh. I have resolutions. I will be a kinder and more compassionate person. I am going to treat everybody with politeness and a smile. I will be good to my family and good to my friends. I am going to work hard in terms of my academia and write precise notes so I will breeze through my finals. I am going to be a better person.

Now that it's in writing and on the web for the whole world to see, I have to keep those resolutions. Hopefully, when 2012 rolls around, I'll be feeling happier and more satisfied with the year I just had.

Wish me luck! I'm going to try my best. 2011, watch out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Butt is Numb

I have been sitting in this seat for the past five hours. There isn't sufficient space on the desk to prop my laptop on it, so it's resting on my knees and blowing lots of hot fan heat onto my jeans. I was leaning on my spine, so I kind of cut off all feeling back there. All in all, not very comfortable.

Anyway, I'm in Taiwan right now, a kumara shaped country that is not part of China but quite close to it. It's where I was born. I don't come back to Taiwan often, but it's usually at the end of the year if I do. I'm planning to stay here until January 12 before I head home. I miss home already. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of fantastic things in Taiwan. There are so many channels of TV, there's great and really cheap food, and the clothes are much better looking, but there's just something about home. I miss the quiet hum of the simple life, of the empty roads not littered with motorcycles. I miss my two fat cats who probably have already forgotten about me (selfish things). But most of all, I miss my room.

I won't lie through my teeth and say my room is spotless. Occassionally I'll get into a cleaning frenzy (vaccuum, windows, airing out blankets, you name it, I do it) and it'll be freakishly clean, but usually there's the off scrap of paper on my carpet or some empty wrappers on the desk. I really miss the smell of home. I really miss my bed. Sleeping on the beds here give me a major-neck ache. I really really really want my bed.

Anyway, I made a promise. That was the last of it, but I'm making an effort to cut down my complaining. I whine a lot, especially when I'm discontent or under pressure. As such, I was a grumbly-guts during exam season (ugh! Even I couldn't stand myself!). For a brief period this year, I maintained a "zen" philosphy where I tried to think positive thoughts and to compliment people and smile all the time. It successfully lasted a week before a 7.6 earthquake shocked back my snark.

I'm busy, so I have to go. Just a shoutout to Taiwan's awesome AWESOME subway system. I love it.