Punk To Adult Alternative

As much as I think that a person is who he is or who she is, and the leopard never changes its spots, or that a character is innate, there is the inevitable need to admit that even I myself have changed. For better or for worse, I won’t label it, but I am happy with it.

Just take music choice for example, I have archived punk. Adult alternative is now the season. But then when I hear the artistes from those days again, like Hilary Duff – All about you, I feel that I haven’t changed at all either. So maybe  the better conclusion is that we have all evolved and built layers upon layers on ourselves. Damn, I miss Lizzie Maguire. The fictional she did shape morals. Don’t get me started on Twerking or Miley Cyrus. Maybe those Lizzie haters should eat their own words.

Back to the topic that I think I have changed… I think I have become more introverted. I don’t care what others think. I am happy to not follow the norms. Get a degree, get married, bear kids, raise kids, be old. Who set the rules anyway? It has become so annoying with people flashing babies that they popped out. Big smiles…. Happy new upstart family. Wonderful society. Build next generation.

What for? I hate to say… it is largely a selfish cycle. No doubt, some people love kids. Fine, have it that way. But there are GREAT responsibilities. I think it is a guilt-ridden one-way trip. You don’t own your kid, you have a kid. In the former, you can control your child to your liking, but there is no guarantee of happiness. In the latter, the kid might just be misguided, but probably happy anyway. I think at 25, you could achieve all these social norms if you are sure. However, if the reason to be married, be attached, to be locked down with children is because you want to ace the race of LIFE…. maybe you need some perspective.

I am not a believer. So don’t force me to do what I don’t believe in. I will and I think I would burn everything to the ground – LITERALLY. So… this concludes what I mean by… I am happy with what I am and the choices I pick.

The thing about not caring what other people think is so liberating. I think the Buddhist value about looking inwards instead of outwards for approval has its reasons. Of course, there aren’t tried and tested routes or formulas to attain such transcendence, I don’t think there can be. It just happens.

I recall the most recent wedding I have attended. It was like an orchestrated show. It was painful. The lady of the day was gritting her teeth and pointing at her yamseng (raise your glass) crew to hurry up. It was massively torturous. I made sure I raised my glass as she looked over – don’t get caught by the disciplinary mistress people. I even made sure to pitch in my voice to do the oh-so-tired routine, just in case she catches me faking it… from the size of my gapping mouth or whatever. I remember M peered over to investigate. I gave her a wink… reassuring her “yes I am actually doing it”.

Have your way here, keep me out of here

If there is one band I must admit that I am wrong at first about how good they are, it is Broods. Indie, not yet famous, but a cut above many. It’s like an explosion of southern hemisphere lyricists – meaningful lyrics seem to make a comeback to as a make or break criterion. 

I am glad to have so many songs to explore during this free period in between school and “work”. Kinda work. Bar exams is kinda like work-school hybrid. I think I will make it through, I just need a lifeline. Everyone quotes this quarter life crisis as if everyone is gonna live to 100. I think it’s about one-third of my life gone – is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? Probably because it guarantees that safety net called bling bling. Then there is the happiness thing that we all seem to be unsure of at this age. Do I feel happy? Maybe, sometimes, but not so happy like a friend who can beam it all over the world through social networks or whatever. And I clarify it is not a hate thing there, I am in awe and admiration that people can find what keeps them happy. However, I do not really admire people who settle for less, and indoctrinate themselves that they are happy. There’s nothing inspiring about that.

I think the better qualification is to not seek happiness, but to seek satisfaction. Am I satisfied with my life? Definitely not. Is it one of those 7 sins called greed? Nope. So what is it? It is something in between, I think it is called trying to live life my way. Hey, gold and silver doesn’t make me happy. I don’t look at yellow and grey and get so happy because I love these colours. Bling shit gives you the opportunity to seek the way you want to live your life. That’s how you derive satisfaction. When am I satisfied? I am sure it is not material needs. I don’t know all the things that I want, I am still thinking through it. I am sure freedom is one thing. Financial freedom is one kind but that is kinda solved as soon as I earn my shillings worth. What I want is the spatial freedom, to roam, to explore.

I wish I knew my ambition when I was young – maybe an adventurer like Christopher Columbus. I know you can travel, but one, it requires money, secondly, it is one temporary escape. As the Naked and Famous sings, it is about finding the inbetween. I think what I want is to work elsewhere where I can take the weekends off to explore the wilderness. Maybe visit a Coldplay concert on one of those splurge worthy days. Go camping and tramping. I think this is gonna be one big of that satisfaction puzzle solved. I think the so-called happiness will then come. Sounds like some buddhist talk going on, but hey, it fits my instincts. 

Maybe I may buy a guitar. I don’t know. I wanna play a guitar and jam, but I am lazy to learn. Maybe it will be different after I can strum a chord. Maybe a harmonica. It is smaller and maybe less painful on the fingers.

I think the more I explore and think about life, the more I see that I have an artistic side. I like to see things differently from the weathered rote learning. I think it is like being free in spirit. It is probably too abstract, so let’s just call it daydreaming. I think this isn’t the kind of society I want to live in. You have to do this, to be what the society wants you to be. I think, and because I can think, I will think for myself. Maybe it is too narcissistic or too selfish to keep talking about myself, but actually while I write, I am kinda thinking through as I go along and its a little bit of reflection or meditation. It is like talking to yourself to know what you want. I think the “quarter life crisis” requires alot of this self-to-self conversation. There has been to much putting off, to only follow the tried and tested route , because time has run out and the train has reached the station.

I used to dislike this girl called chingching because she was a bully. Turns out she probably was the most insecure and restricted person in school in her own whatever turmoil, and now she is just overseas and doing her own thing. How do I know she must have internal struggles with freedom like I do, because she listened to Pink. All those “I don’t give a damn” lyrics. It seems like she got herself sorted out. I admire her for that now, and I am starting to like Pink’s lyrics. Anyway she seems nicer now. Kids… The bullies in my time were not so bad, come to think of it. 

There are so many quarter life crisis that is insidiously happening around my friends. Some trying to finish the education asap because he is sick of it and it is like a never ending certification country, some not sure what they want to do with their career (and trust me I know how mind spinning it is sometimes you just want to sink into a sponge foam bed and disappear from the world for 1 hour). Do I like my career choice, yes and no. Yes because it is like a directed road for now so I can don’t think about it for a while. No because it is not the most meaningful and interesting task. I would be a farmer if the opportunity comes, I seriously will consider. No one uses a shovel or much anymore. It’s quite high tech now – you can even use a helicopter to round up sheep. Come to think of it, I could start working on that ambition I gave up on, maybe get a license to at least fly. Very costly interest, maybe a remote controlled one.

Then there is the quarter life crisis of love and relationships. Some got it going, built the milestone and exchanged vows for life. Some seeking and wanting to. Some PDA on social networks like they are publishing a magazine, big smiley hugs and faces pressed together. Good. Good for you. Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes all the same. Nuff said.

Ok, pause for this mental floss. It is getting too depressing. Some updates about reality. I am donning the graduation gown next wednesday. I haven’t actually tried it on for sizing. I can’t be bothered to. Also I feel odd and jinxing it if I wear it before the actual ceremony. 

Day to day life. I have been doing some running. Quite a lot against my liking. I needed to lose weight because (1) it is the quarter life crisis, (2) I have put on a lot of weight for the past 6 months due to unknown reasons with highly probable evidence pointing to overeating (3) I moved house so I don’t have the luxury to swim and do underwater thinking/reflections anymore (4) I need to fit into my pants from not too long ago because work is coming and you can’t wear sweatpants since no one wants to sit with Regina George (5) if 25 is the peak I better go down with a peak and not start with lumps and sacks (6) I have not pushed my outer appearance to the potential it can be (7) who doesn’t love attention (8) I have alot of free time now on my hands (9) once you get the ball rolling, it gets easier to run and less breathlessness etc so you gotta keep up (10) the repetitive actions + meditating from swimming is transferable to running.

 And now running go I. Peace out!



interim update

It’s been a while. So much going on, so much going through my mind. Some thoughts so bad ass, I can’t imagine putting it down carved in stone.

One thing i can rant about…….. I officially declare my dislike of Facebook. Not that it matters a lot, my view represents a fraction of many billion people in the world. To be fair, Facebook did facilitate the sharing of information, but somehow, as we grow older, teen angst becomes a biblo about  “i’m doing so well with my life at 25 years old! #yolo”. Fuck off. I’m happy for you, at least a wee bit, but darn it, it’s annoying. Maybe i’m just born to be a pessimistic hater of everything, but I guess it does filter down to the same conclusion for many people. Or maybe I’m just older and wiser and more of a grouchy old man than normal people my age. 

I actually think selfies are fine. They are funny or ridiculous or just passable at times. I think there’s some courage in that, as people in my generation say, “that’s gonna take some balls”! Group pics however are ridiculous. Every single boring event, every single gathering at a random place… First of all, unless you look like a pretty thing yourself, the picture really doesn’t have a centre of attraction. Secondly, an interesting place, an adventure, a commemorative event and something of some big deal would be a good reason to. If not, just stop plastering your face all over. A marathon snapshot or how your makeup looks good today makes no sense. You can write a short status about that, not make a thousand words with a picture. 

And the new thing recently is to get married. Yes yes, again, i’m happy for you. A couple of my good friends are getting married this year. And I’m not trying to incur the wrath of them all by saying shit about it. It is commemorative, so you all earned it. You all deserve to, after all, it’s your one and only chance to. There is just this particular couple that puts up pictures of her wedding shot and none of them looks like her. Hmmm. I haven’t gotten around it, not yet formulated views about it. I’m just feeling like…..”and you dare put this up?” I’m not sure if one should be happy that she looks prettier (way too pretty to not look like her), or sad that she looked like she got a replacement model. Maybe its just me again, but what’s the point?

And graduation is just around the corner. Yay about that, but somehow, it isn’t that happy an event cos the word masks up the dutiful hard work that continues as usual. They didn’t cancel exam, last I heard. There’s this graduation farewell dinner. 1 month before school even ends. Much like prom. Its just gonna feel like, “Really? Now? Doesn’t feel like it right?” I ain’t complaining, just reflecting, or preemptive reflecting. Its free and a nice gesture after all. 

Sorry i’m so bitchy. Saturday afternoons are terribly hot and boring. 



Masterchef Australia

wpid-DSC_0180.jpgSo thats my attempt at meringue. I can’t believe I finished 65 episodes of masterchef Australia. Its different. Different from the American one. Its less drama, more cooking, more recipes, more discussion, more technique.

I was not liking the fail at the wrobg time, wrong dish and you are out concept. I was preferring the my kitchen rules scoring system that accumulates, so that you can play catch up. It jist eliminates the overall good cook, or perhaps the best cook who happens to falter at the wrong moment. I’m glad that there’s comeback kitchen. But that is still strategic. Then I started thinking, that maybe the show is not meant to just be finding the best cook, playing to the tune of strategy makes it a game, and that makes it even more complex and egg-xiting.

It’s not just a show. Its about knowing the contestants through 65 episodes. Its about learning new techniques, flavour combination, scientific concepts and cultural cuisine styles. Sometimes I just hate people who belittle and judge you, because you are watching “reality tv”. For the record, I have always preferred non-fiction. And fiction can be interesting only if it doesn’t repeat the ideas that someone else has done.

And Heston Blumenthal was a guest on the show. Blown away. Enough said. Chicken is perfect at 60-63 degrees on a probe. Did you know that? Egg-xactly my point. So haters should just steer clear of the topic.

I’d love to talk abt the scoring systems, the games, the dishes, the flavour combination. I love to agree to disagree. But I think I like to feel inspired as well, and not just random banter without a basis or proper knowledge about cooking. Sorry. I’m bitchy when it comes down to this. I loved it when I was in nz, going to class the next day and gushing with my friend over the dishes served on an episode the previous evening. That was ultimate bliss. I disagree with lots, but it was constructive arguments.. How the saffron sauce should have been done this way or that way.. Etc. How the inventiveness of the dish blows me away…. Like butterflying a chicken whole without a bone left and the whole chicken flattened, made into a roulade. That was A+ technique. I really dislike how people can be so proud that they know nothing about cooking here, just like not knowing a word of mandarin. It’s so high school, to be like everyone else, and fit in. Everyone fails in cooking at some point, but the key is to try. I failed in meringue 4 times before hitting success. Sometimes you have the knowledge, but your hands aren’t nimble enough. That’s ok. The worst is when people don’t try.

Ok. Enough hateful message here. Mixed feeling abt another show that ended. Happy and sad at the same time. Ahhh… Emotions.

L Auberge Espagnole

It’s also called “the spanish apartment”. It’s like watching a movie, and relating and relating and oh gosh, how I miss exchange. Doing the requisite study, and exploring and understanding the beautiful mess in a new city. I don’t think I am a true countryside person, I need the accessibility at the oddest of moments. I think what I need is an uncrowded city, with pedestrians first (where cars give way to walking people).

It’s also like watching a movie in mostly french and spanish, but reading the english subtitles like a book, so you really think about the words. The vision matched with the sub-corresponding audible words. It’s like reading in another accent while watching a movie. It makes watching a movie different. Like doing two things at one go.

It’s like watching a movie based on reality. You feel things that the protagonist felt before. Like missing the city when you have to leave. You walk on the streets and try to remember the same walkway you take every morning. For me, it was simply waking up at 845am and being in class at 8.55 with the scruffiest hair I can come up with (actually not that difficult, I have anti-gravity hair and the cold helps to solidify the oils in the hair I’m guessing). So I sit there like a frozen block with a coat in the heated classroom (it felt nicer in the classroom than in the apartment because my roomie prohibits heaters).

Now, in the city I am born in, I detest the heat. Enough said. Everyone knows enough.

I hate typing in lesson here. I hate taking down all the things the lecturer says. It just isn’t pertinent. It just simply depends on what independent study you did. Which begs the big question mark hovering over ur brains – why go to class? Oui. It’s ridiculous, I KNOW. Life’s a mess. The movie just makes you feel like you aren’t alone in feeling like WHY WHY WHY to every stupid little thing we do in real life. You have to follow. You know you don’t want to follow, but you follow. Because, we don’t know what is the alternative. Plus we have an additional mindset ingrained in our tofu brains since we were young and absorbent – you reap what you sow, you take what’s good for you, and you must remember to check out for the consequences.

I read a sydney friend’s blog, about how she detests the way she is living now. She left her legal job (I remember she flew back just for the interview), but she detests watching the clock and doing 9-5 to make ends meet. She depends on her boyfriend now as she tries to explore her writing. Dreamy…. mmmm… yes….. it’s probably time for someone to smack your head if you are living here. I’m not saying its not possible. It is possible. But its does not earn support. Maybe your friends would, but financially, who would, really… It’s back to the ground here. Everyday the message instilled is for the people to fly high, but please make sure you can land too, don’t try rockets, they don’t have wings.

Metaphor too much.

I havent written in a long time. I detest typing (have I mentioned that already)? I have a 16in laptop, 15.6 to be exact, so I have a weirdly arranged keyboard where the spacing isn’t what a normal 14 inch has, and it took some real practising, and i mean really consciously moving your fingers with more distance to cover the key that you intend to hit. It came by this semester. I survived 3 major research papers, and many other mini assignments that I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t see them coming. Cos the prospectus didn’t say a thing.

I prepped for exam… Tried to review past year papers. Spotted the most possible essay topic. Boom. A heavy waft of cold air sank over me. Nothing came out. It was a brand new paper. Whee. Such fun. So I manage and wrote some stuff that I didn’t like. I hope it doesn’t get a C.

Oh, I made creme anglaise, and frozen it to make ice cream (with the whisking to aerate it and make it whippy light – yep don’t get technical with me). Its my own fattening process. Don’t be picky with my technique. Let me go try that now. Au revoire!

The mouse went up the clock

I didn’t know what to write for title. And some nursery rhyme came off my brain-storming. Forgive me.

And exam period is on again. How engaging and… nah i’m lying. It’s bullcrap all over again. Reduced some bullcrap this semester by taking on research papers. And then new unexpected “assignments” and “presentations” and “class participation” and “tests” came out of nowhere to fill up the calendar. Knocked down the obstacles, proud to say. Last hurdles are on the way!

Fake optimism, such fun.

I love listening to Linkin Park – Robot Boy. Cos its un-linkinpark and full of grandeur in the background tune. There’s also the relatable title “robot boy”, yep, that’s how mechanical I feel doing the “interpretive” stuff, learning how one word means so much more in concept, and how its like a particle=wave, in other words, it makes no sense. But I am used to it, so it’s really not so tough like the beginning anymore. Doesn’t mean its not tough, just used to it, and able to settle on not really having a solution. Ah the black hole of knowledge building. You try and you try, and it just goes into some infinity emptiness of “it depends”. The ambivalent answer is really the key to making it through university interviews. Your calculus teacher would probably smack you in the back of the head. So… education is really biased. Tutors see what they want to see. So…. that’s another black hole to study / intuitively grope at in the dark. I don’t know, it’s what I call the “sixth sense”. 

And the exam questions go “Blah blah blah blah. Advise”……. WHAT DO YOU WANT! ADVISE WHAT? 


Growing up so fast

I don’t really have a point in this post. So please steer clear if you are looking for a “moral of the story” satisfaction…

I’m turning 24. The realisation is not as shocking as the previous few. I suppose this means that, this is the point where I stop caring that I am turning older. 20: omg, second decade, 21: legally liable for anything, 22: gosh why is it going so fast, 23: a blur, one-third done. 24: I DON’T CARE.

It is kinda tiring to go to facebook these days. Maybe I’m old. Or maybe its just getting boring. Photos of people appearing well-off, settled, focused with a direction in life. Status of people saying shameless stuff like, “not everyone can pull this look off” and captioned to a selfie. It’s all so tiring, to even care, feels like I am wasting my time watching people gratify their own needs. Maybe I am just really old, since I have to mention how facebook is boring in every post. 

I can’t be bothered to grow up. I can appear mature, thinking, have a plan in life, seem to be holding it all together like a perfect kid person, but its not what goes through in my brain. I know, I know, everyone who’s older is also simply holding it together and actually have an inner kid living in there, but no one tells you how it is like exactly. No one comes telling you hey I am just acting like an adult because I have to. I barely grew up emotionally since I turned 18. I merely went emotionally stiff and frozen because i hated being labelled an adult. I don’t want to be responsible for anything!

So there’s probably a point to my facebook rant. Everyone is holding it well together. Some got married, some got kids, some got endless huge smiles posing with whatever little 5 dollar crap they purchased. And for me, I never imagined myself with silly happiness like that. I want to be something better than that and still retain my younger mentality. I still have ambitions, which I still seem to think its possible to achieve (like when you were a kid), but time and money is not in my favour. Roald Dahl is truly magical, to be able to keep that childish mentality and implement it in his real life through books. Enough said.

I just spent an hour trying to make popcorn, and I burnt it, twice. I tried to make it enjoyable, to make myself something fun and it just kept failing, and I ended up wasting 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of oil and a whole pack of popping corn. Not to mention that extra 30 mins spent digging my hands in soap and baking soda to wash off the burnt sugar. I must have forgotten how to make it. Yea, i could just buy ready made ones… but I like to know what goes into my food, and actually make it on my own, because I am just weird like that. So there, dashed hopes. 

Anyway, friends have been changing, not very much the personality. More like they moved on into society and the talks just become something so different from mere school. Relationships, work, and the benefits of work… Like… conversations would be full of “how well my work treats me”, holiday opportunities, lusting over people, and the general sense that there is money so everything is working out just fine. I am not complaining about anything, it’s their new life afterall. I just don’t relate to these topics. its just that get go moment when you feel like everybody one up-ed you. I appreciate a “how’s school” once in a while, which they still do. But, it’s like, with those types of conversation, the only thing expected from me is “oh… yada yada, your work is so tough/good/something”. No one comes saying “oh… why is your school work so difficult, or how’s your timetable”. Some friends still do remember that I am still in school, and are genuinely concerned, which is much appreciated. I am not saying anyone is wrong or anything to be talking about their new life at work, but I just don’t relate at some point. I don’t think its so bad that any friendships are ruined, but it does irk me once in a while. Just saying. Who knows I might turn out to be like this when I work. But I would try to be subtle… DUH. I remember another status on facebook clearly, “happiness is when your boss confirms your employment 3 months before probation period is up”…. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD… I am so gonna throw a donut at your face if I could.