20 Jan

This still is from upcoming film The Hunger Games. It is based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, which I only just got down to reading. The novel is well-written enough for YA fiction. It is the themes that I find most gripping and can’t seem to get away from. Mainly, the idea of what you’d be pushed to do in a time of crisis when regular rules of ethics no longer seem to apply.

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Arrogance vs confidence

20 Nov

I came across Taufik Batisah’s first audition on Singapore Idol from back in 2004. The voice-over starts out by telling the audience it’s dangerous to be “overconfident” and “arrogant” when leaving a first impression.

What exactly did Taufik do to make the judges think he had a huge ego? Nothing much – he just walked and sang like he knew what he was doing. I can’t imagine an American Idol judge tearing into a contestant this way, especially in a competition where you’re supposed to sell yourself.

Maybe it’s simply an Asian trait to go the other extreme when it comes to modesty?

Simple things that bring joy

17 Nov

I just finished rereading this book. The characters are collectively described as “unambitious, minimally employed, well-educated, and self-indulgent.”

More than anything else, I felt sorry for them.

Anyway, one takeaway was how diary entires can come in the form of lists. The list titles span from abstract (Things That Are Distant Though Near) to the somewhat pretentious (Things That Lose by Being Painted). The list entries are also purposely obscure (“a hot night in San Fransisco”; “a broken promise”), as if the writer was trying a little too hard to appear anonymous without fully letting go of the chance to claim ownership.

I came up with a list. I was not obscure – there isn’t any need to be in these cases.


1. The echo-ey part of this song
2. Perfectly blue skies
3. My dad when he’s in the mood to tell stories
4. People who have worked hard enough to appear effortless
5. Journal writing
6. Laughing with girlfriends
7. Planning menus for specific occasions
8. Taking a photo just once
9. Reaping after hard work
10. Time alone with God

Songs of perseverance

16 Oct

Brooke Fraser duets with Aqualung in a song about marriage. This is the lovely result: a song about the difficulties – and beauty – of commitment.

We tried and tried to loosen the knots
Thinking once we’re untangled we’ll be better off
But it’s these failures and faults that hold us together

DISCLAIMER: As mentioned earlier, I believe that this is a song about marriage – one where both parties acknowledge and are willing to work through obstacles. (How nice and apt that it is a duet!)
I don’t think it is accurate to apply this concept to an unhealthy (and possibly unbalanced) relationship which involves any number of knots that are painful but should be untied. There is no easy answer. If you’re going through something like this – pray unceasingly for God’s wisdom.

The new baby

1 Sep

I love extremely short poems

30 Jul

Even at this late date, sometimes I have to look up
the word “receive.” I received his deep
and interested gaze.

A bean plant flourishes under the rain of sweet words.
Tell what you think—I’m listening.

The story ruffled its twenty leaves.


Once my teacher set me on a high stool
for laughing. She thought the eyes
of my classmates would whittle me to size.
But they said otherwise.

We’d laugh too if we knew how.

I pinned my gaze out the window
on a ripe line of sky.

That’s where I was going.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Fuel”

Shakespeare in the Park

30 Apr
Strawberry jelly and rainbow pebblesFreeflow toppings (from Yigloo)MelissaAdrian Pang as MacbethLady Macbeth rampaging offscreenWhy I miss RGS already
GlowIrene naps in the backgroundIrene

Shakespeare in the Park, a set on Flickr.