The organised chaos

Gah, my brains!

Q: How do you know you have a hangover?

A: When you can’t quite locate the power button of the iMac which you have been using for the past five years.

Last night was a blast. I originally meant for my farewell drinks session to be a small and intimate outing for the girls. And then Gary comes along and sends a movie email invite and I thought, I do owe it to Gary, whom I am quite fond of, to have him spend my last day with me.

And so, an email was duly dispatched to certain people, I still wanted to keep it small and quiet. I don’t know why, I guess I just didn’t want to make a big fuss out of it. And before I realised it, some of the girls flaked out on me because of work, people whom I did not expect to turn up did and it all went a bit crazy from there.

Ahh, The Youth Group’s “Forever Young” is playing now. How apt.

But no time to think about it, I have a surprise party to go to. My future housemate woke up me and told me to get ready by 2pm and I saw this in my Inbox:
!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/249/522712022_aaf6710dc9_m.jpg(Surprise!)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/522712022/

I love surprises!

Little Miss Shopaholic

“What are you wearing?!”

!(imgleft)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/201/515799235_9a7e3effd7_m.jpg(Zara dress with purple tights)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/515799235/
Well, that’s just one of the more polite questions I have been asked throughout my life.

Admittedly, I am utterly, utterly vain. I love looking good when I am in one of those let’s-dress-me-up moods (oh, that rhymes!), regardless of occasion. I love my dresses, love vintage and love trawling eBay, flickr and fashion blogs for ideas. I hate looking like every other girl out shopping in Orchard Road on a Saturday afternoon. I love mixing and matching different colours and textures. I love thrift shopping and budget buying. I love splurging on something that I think is worth my money.

Which is why it really irks me when people say things like that to me.

I believe that when it comes to fashion, there really is no time better than now. We only live in our youth once and to those who ask me why I am wearing what I am wearing, my response is this: “If I don’t wear it now, do I wear it when I am 80?”

Aye, we only live once.

This is why I am going to continue wearing my purple tights, my flapper-esque gold dress from Zara, my black diamond-patterned Topshop tights, my oversized sunglasses and get my bangs cut really short again.

Just because I can!

PS: Credit must go to he-who-is-soon-to-be-my-housemate. He happily goes shopping with me, even to the extent of driving all the way to Bukit Timah because I was dying to check out the Salvation Army there, and never tells me what not to wear. Even when I am wearing what others deem as outlandish, he assures me that I look good.

In fact, I frequently send him MMS or make video calls to him when I am shopping alone so that he can give me a second opinion on items that I am not entirely sure about.

For that, I heart you much much!

Arts & Entertainment

Chage and Aska’s Say Yes

Before the recent rise of sappy Korean drama serials, the region was ruled by the thespian forces of their East Asian neighbours.

Back in those days, Sunday mornings were reserved for the viewing of Japanese drama serials (known as J-dorama) on Channel 8 with the Sista.

Nevermind the fact that it was all dubbed in Mandarin. I had loved, loved their take on the modern lives (then) led by young adults in Tokyo. They lived their lives fully and loved wholeheartedly and had, seemingly, so much fun. When the characters fell out of love and cried their hearts out, I shed a few tears in commiseration.

One of the best things, then, about J-dorama was that it wasn’t always a trite, happy ending for everyone and not every lead character was a dashing Takenouchi Yutaka or Kimura Takuya.

Take “101 Proposals” for instance. The leading man was a bus driver (if I remember correctly) and he was quite dreadful looking for a leading man. But he won over all our weepy hearts with his determination and heart of gold.

The show grew popular and the theme song, Chage and Aska‘s “Say Yes”, managed to make the jump into our local radio stations and were played on the airwaves for quite a bit. I found it in my iTunes tonight by sheer luck – being stricken with flu leaves one with very little things to do.

And you know what? The song still sounds darned good after all these years.

It then brought me back to the rest of the J-dorama that shaped my life so.

Heaven’s Coins” was the show that gave me my first Japanese crush in Takenouchi as the wilful and passionate Takumi.

Long Vacation” got me hooked onto the music of Cagnet.

Tokyo Love Story” taught me that women are no longer passive players in a relationship and that even if the love affair ends in disappointment, it is still possible to keep a smile on while the tears flowed.

And who can forget “Over Time“? The charismatic Sorimachi Takeshi as a photographer and the hilarious Esumi Makiko as his love interest. The ending, which saw Sorimachi giving Esumi up to Kugata the doctor, turned me into an unintelligible, sobbing mess. “Over Time” also introduced me to the brilliant green, one of the best Japanese rock bands of all time.

For those who still remember, here is the brilliant green’s “Sono Supido De”.

The organised chaos

Out of sorts

In passion and silence,
Every word, every line, a measure
It’s the science of the soul

These days, I don’t know who I am writing for or why I am writing or what I want to write.
It’s almost as if I am digging into something that’s running on empty. And when I write, I feel distinctly detached from the topic, almost as if my heart is not into it.

I don’t know why.
Does anyone even care, really?

It’s possibly irrational, my mind going all mush and emo on me. I have no opinions, no suggestions, no will and everything feels trite and shallow. Sometimes, the words can be bubbling in my brain when I am on the train and when I get home, it’s all but evaporated into nothing.

It’s like a well that’s dried up.

What happened?

Maybe it’s time to call it quits.

Photography

Mucking around with Photoshop

One of the best things about The Job is how I have learnt to do so much with Photoshop. Levels, curves, colour balances, channel mixers….I never knew what these could do until I stepped into that dreary building in Science Park. There were so many effects that one can produce with just a software application that pictures, unedited, were beginning to look dull to me.

I have been playing around with Photoshop these days to see if I can replicate the vintage effect on pictures. Thank heavens for the Internet then, which is brimming full of interesting tips and tools. I managed to learn a few cross-processing effects and have been trying them out on our girls’ night out photos. Some were marvellous while others were dreadful (my editing, I mean) but it’s been fun nonetheless.

Here are some of my favourites:

!(img)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/216/505562732_268632a891_m.jpg(Pensive Popartgirl)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/505562732/
A great, pensive shot of Popartgirl by Cat. Lovely, lovely.

!(img)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/201/505562560_9587f78222_m.jpg(Enjoying my G&T)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/505562560/
Another great moment captured by Cat.

!(img)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/218/505563428_22ae3c6adf_m.jpg(Cam-whoring)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/505563428/
Not quite cross-processing but a slight adjustment of the Red channel in Levels.

The organised chaos

Whither wander I?

According to the local newspaper, I am considered an “elite” because the schools that I had gone to were “elite” schools and I had, more or less, excelled in music, sports or the arts.

As much of an “elite” as I was, there were times when I wished that I been truly great at theatre and Literature because good as I was, I knew I was not Angus Ross prize material.

And as I left school, I also left most of my association with those that I had once loved fervently behind. I chucked my Beckett and Golding into the back of the cupboard and hooked up with fashion magazines instead, shallow being that I am.

Last weekend, when I caught the Phantom of the Opera at the Esplanade Concert Hall, that niggling thought came back as I sat back to admire the opulent and elegant set. I marvelled at the ingenious way they staged the underground tunnel scene, the lush swishing of skirts during “Masquerade” and the rich music of the orchestra. I admired the immensely versatile voice of Christine, at how she sounded so warm at her low notes and hit the high ones with beautiful clarity.

Why, oh why couldn’t I have been born with such a soaring, spine-tingling voice or a designer’s vision?

Tonight, while watching the Singapore Repertory Theatre‘s outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I was brought back to the same thoughts.

I was impressed by how the company had managed to replicate the theatre in Fort Canning Hill, complete with scaffolding holding spotlights house lights. Their use of long platforms running down the slopes was clever as it managed to bring the actors closer to the audience. Casting was spot on, with the actors portraying Helena, Demetrius and Bottom making the most impression on me. I had no problems following the olden prose of Shakespeare and I was suddenly stricken by a wave of longing and nostalgia.

It made me wish I had been better at Theatre Studies and Drama back in my VJC days because it was apparent that the SRT team loved what they did. I have always believed that finding something you believe passionately and excel in is as hard to find as a needle in the haystack.

Writing is the only thing that I can count on now but even then, I sometimes wonder at the reason why I am pursuing it with such vengeance. Is it sheer idealism or mere stupidity, when my peers are moving up the corporate ranks faster than I am and earning twice as much as I do? Do I want to remain a poor writer for the rest of my life? Am I good enough to truly excel at it?

If only, if only, if only.
So, how now spirit, wither wander I?

Friends

My girls and I

One of the things I miss most about choir practices is the people. More specifically, the Alto girls.

Oh, I have no doubt we are easily the noisiest, loudest people in the choir and there are probably some people who are glad that Popartgirl and I are no longer around to fool around during practices. But we are also the most cohesive section and after singing together for the past few years and competitions, we have all grown closer as friends.

Last Wednesday, Sandy thoughtfully organised a girls night out at Cafe Iguana and MOS for us altos and a couple of honorary altos (whom we have all welcomed into our folds) and we had a blast! It’s been a while since our last outing and I have forgotten how crazy we can get.

There was the customary cam-whoring, a lot of irreverent rants (about non-bloody steaks and pesky exes) and alcohol that quickly vanished down our welcoming throats. There were silly man-creeps who eyed us with eager gazes and even sillier man-creeps who tried to dance their way into our little circle. Thank heavens for graec who put aside her amusement and sniggers to pull us out of these idiots’ range.

I’ll leave the pictures to tell the story (with plenty of them making up for the lousy Shameless Cam-whoring week entries).

But I really do miss the girlies. How I adore them!

!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/503111119_2fc1dbdfbf_m.jpg(Dopey and I)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/503111119

!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/194/503070156_36847c3022_m.jpg(Girlies pose)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/503070156/

!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/214/503067282_c714c75a84_m.jpg(Dopey loves her margarita)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/503067282/