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Laughter is the best drug

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Two or three weeks ago, I happened to turn on the TV one morning and an episode from Sex And The City was already playing halfway. I immediately settled down to watch it, because I secretly adore the show, even though I won’t tell anyone about it!

It was the second episode of the first season, so everything looked retro, even though it was only 1998 then. But it was still hilarious. It was about beautiful people, aka models, and whether dating them is a privilege or a chore (more like death sentence the way how it was portrayed in the show). And how less beautiful people, aka 99% of ordinary average-looking human beings, behave differently (feel insecure?) when they are around models. Hence, the title Models and Mortals.

The ending was particularly sweet. It was a conversation between Carrie Bradshaw and her Mr Big at the usual cafe that she writes her columns at.

Carrie typing on her laptop (VoiceOver): “I began to realise that being beautiful is like having a rent-controlled apartment overlooking the park — Completely unfair and usually bestowed upon those who deserve it least.”

Mr Big [walks into the cafe and slides into the booth where Carrie is at]: “I’m not interrupting your work, am I?”

Carrie: “Hey, what a surprise.”

Mr Big: “I can’t stay. I’m late for a meeting, but I’ve been thinking about your article on men who date models.”

Carrie: “What about them?”

Mr Big: “First of all, there are so many goddamn gorgeous women in this city.”

Carrie: “What an amazing observation.”

Mr Big: “But the thing is this … after a while, you just wanna be with the one that makes you laugh. Know what I mean?”

And Carrie couldn’t stop smiling after that. I guess she knew what Big meant? I didn’t really get the reference Carrie used in the beginning of the scene about the rent-controlled apartment. Maybe it’s a New York thing.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that laughter is good. Being with someone who makes you laugh is better. Being able to laugh at the same things with that someone is even better. Being able to laugh at each other all the time? Now that’s gold.

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Lisa Kudrow’s epic speech on sexism

If you haven’t started watching the TV drama Scandal, you are missing out. You’ve gotta watch at the very least the sixth episode of the show’s third season, because it will blow your mind, especially if you believe in gender equality. I know I do, that’s why this was so inspiring.

In this episode of Scandal, Lisa Kudrow’s character, Congresswoman Josie Marcus delivers a scathing take-down of sexism in modern politics and the semantics with which men subtly put females down to her interviewer James Novak in an interview that is broadcast live on national TV.

“I know what prejudice looks like. It’s not about experience, James. It’s about gender. [Political opponent Governor Sam] Reston’s saying I don’t have the balls to be President and he means that literally. It’s offensive. It’s offensive to me and to all the women whose votes he’s asking for.”

Wow, right? Can you feel the room heating up? And the congresswoman goes on firing her bullets.

“It’s not just Governor Reston speaking in code about gender; it’s everyone, yourself included. The only reason we’re doing this interview in my house is because you requested it. This was your idea and here you are, thanking me for inviting you into my ‘lovely home’. That’s what you say to the neighbour lady who baked you chocolate-chip cookies. This pitcher of iced tea isn’t even mine; it’s what your producers set here. Why? Same reason you called me a ‘real-life Cinderella story’. It reminds people that I’m a woman without using the word. For you, it’s an angle, I get that, and I’m sure you think it’s innocuous, but guess what, it’s not.”

Powerful. Cutting. Straight to the point. And the politician who strives to be nice 24/7 finally shows that she has the temerity to bite when threatened. Strength is not derived from your gender, but your character.

“You’re promoting stereotypes, James. You’re advancing this idea that women are weaker than men. You’re playing right into the hands of Reston and into the hands of every other imbecile who thinks a woman isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief.”

The background story for her outburst is that minutes before her interview, Marcus is shown an ad from her political opponent Reston. The ad shows a woman’s trembling hand reaching for a doorknob, as the voiceover says: “On the other side of this door sit the leaders of Syria, China, and Iran. On the other side of this door is America’s future — success and failure, life and death. Does America really want an inexperienced hand opening this door?”

The ad doesn’t say it outright, but its subtext is indicating that a woman would not be confident enough to lead a country. Anyway, later in the episode, it was revealed that the ad was fake and created by Marcus’ campaign manager Olivia Pope to motivate her. Kinda expected if you’ve been following Scandal religiously. But still, excellent scriptwriting from the team, great editing and, of course, the kick-ass performance from Kudrow (but I have to admit that I keep expecting Phoebe Buffay to appear any moment).

The whole time I was watching the scene, I was subconsciously thinking of Hilary Clinton and whether she’d have the balls to make a speech like that. And would the American public love her or crush her in return? I’m already looking forward to the US presidential election in three years’ time, when hopefully Clinton or another strong capable female would run for the presidency and win. But most importantly, she would be an inspiring leader who runs the country efficiently and effectively. Now that would be quite a story to tell our future generations, don’t you think?

Credits: Celebuzz.com, The Atlantic

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It’s okay if you haven’t achieved anything yet

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So I opened my Feedly app and this image and headline was the cover page of the day’s top news. With over 700 “shares” for this article, there must be plenty of people feeling the same way as I do. Coincidence? I think not.

According to a Facebook employee, you don’t have to achieve everything when you’re young. That’s a relief because I was getting worried about my lack of stellar achievements in my 30 years on earth.

It’s true what Anthony Sharwood said on news.com.au: If you don’t have the most happening career and the most Twitter followers and the greatest this and the most excellent that, you might start to look at all your successful friends and wonder ‘Why isn’t my life like that?’. And then you might begin to feel pretty down on yourself.

If you’re sighing sorrowfully now like me, the following might just change your entire perspective for the better. Kejia Zhu is a 29-year-old guy who was born in China. He grew up in the UK and now lives in America. Here’s what the Facebook employee has to say about the pursuit of success in his blog post:

“Do you sometimes lie awake worrying that you aren’t succeeding fast enough? Are you tortured by younger peers who have global businesses, penned acclaimed books and a string of iron-man medals? Do you count down the years until you can no longer make the 30 under 30 list? Take a deep breath. My 92 year old grandpa has some advice for you.

“He is a tremendously accomplished individual and considered by many to be a pioneer in biomedical engineering. I visited him in Beijing recently. We were taking an after dinner stroll. I was pestering him for details about his career, looking for tidbits that might help my own. What was he like at my age? How did he work? Is there a secret a routine? He stops me mid-sentence: ‘You know, my career only really took off after I turned 58.’

“Hang on, what?

‘Yes, I’d say the 10 years between my 60s and 70s were my busiest.’

“I was floored. Here is a man who helped revolutionise medical technology and he did it in his twilight years.”

Kejia’s grandfather had gone through various hardships in China, because of the political turmoil and World War II. He found success only in the late 1970s.

“My grandpa’s story made me reflect upon the worship of youthful achievement and our drive to get it all so early in life. I, like many other insecure overachievers, feel an urgency to do big things. Deep down I know this anxiety is root in fear. That I’m not actually any good. That I will waste my shot at life and be a disappointment. So I strive for a quick success because I need to validate my worth. After that I can relax and everything will be plain sailing. Right? Instead, this warped expectation more often leads me to behave in a manner that’s unsustainable and counterproductive.

“It’s easy to forget that our careers extend for decades beyond our 20s and 30s. The truth is significant works usually take a long time. Whether it’s business, academia or the arts, most of the contributions made have been the result of many years of toil. It’s just that we hear of the young overnight success because that’s a more attractive narrative. Even then, those rare few who achieve a lot early in life do not simply stop. The race doesn’t end with the win.

“My grandpa had no choice but to wait a long time for his opportunity. It’s likely he would have achieved even more had be moved to the West. However, had he missed his moment, I dare say he would still have had a fulfilling life. Without the acclaim and recognition he’d still be the jovial, curious and industrious man I love.

“His advice to me: ‘Don’t be in so much of a rush. Be easier on yourself. Comparing yourself to what others are doing is a waste of time.'”

Kejia’s grandfather dispenses one last morsel of wisdom—an old Chinese saying “大器晚成” that roughly translates to “A big construction is always completed late.”

Encouraging, huh? If you had been holding your breath and worrying yourself sick this whole time wondering if you will ever get to the metaphorical “top”, you may exhale now. Take a chill pill and be patient.

Something else Kejia said to news.com.au struck a chord in me:

“It feels like I was part of the generation groomed to feel like they could and should achieve everything. I, for one, have been anxious about living up to this expectation and could see many of my peers felt the same, though it was never talked about. …

“Despite some early successes, I feel rather unremarkable here, which is a good thing. I wanted to be in a position, where I could feel like a rookie and soak up the learning. I do think that the high achievement-driven attitude that fuels this area has a negative impact on people’s expectations of themselves.”

You know what the moral of this blog post is, don’t you? Don’t fret over whether you’re the smarter than everyone else or if you’re way ahead in the rat race. Just know what you want in life and do things in your own time and trust that the universe will do the rest.

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Nothing makes me happier

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Nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder … than you.

It’s true. I haven’t felt right for a long time. It’s nearly 1.5 or two years… The past few days I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind, as I recalled the conversation we used to have. Oh well, let’s move on. I can only feel ’emo’ for this long. Besides, this quote is applicable for my studies and shopping purchases as you will read below…

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged for close to a month. In my defence, I was swamped with work and studies, though there’s nothing to crow about, since I will most likely not get any first-class honours. It’d be a miracle if I do receive high distinctions for my papers. Still, my fingers will remain crossed. After all, I’m always lucky. You never know…

Also, in spite of my busy schedule, I found time to go on a shopping spree, which was therapeutic, but certainly not cheaper than getting a massage or spa treatment. In fact, I might need to see a therapist after this. You know how it is when your friends show off their shopping goodies and you’d tut-tut at them for spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on branded clothes, bags and shoes (and sometimes they’d be broke after that)? And then you would exclaim how you would never spend that much money on such materialistic items, because you are absolutely confident that you can find cheaper and equally nice substitutes? Yup, I’ve become one of those people you’d tut-tut at for spending ridiculous amounts of dough on luxury goods. Now I know why Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City goes crazy over expensive branded shoes. I totally get you now, Carrie.

I swear I’m not a brand whore, BUT … The stuff I buy are really, really nice, because I have excellent taste and fabulous dress sense. Ahem. Anyway, I’m lazy to post pictures; you just gotta trust me on this. I highly recommend everyone to buy ridiculously expensive clothes and shoes, because they are really comfortable. And the quality is absolutely topnotch — so good you know for certain it will probably outlast your lifespan. Say, you slip your feet in well-crafted exquisitely soft leather shoes, you’d immediately feel like “Ah… This is what a good life should be.”

Once you buy your first pair of $500-700 luxury shoes, you’ll wonder why have you spent half of your life without them. And the next thing you know… You’re signing a credit card slip for a $1,200-worth pair of shoes. Yup, by the time you reach home, you’re still in a daze from the swiftness of that transaction, but you are also gleeful of how good you look in the mirror. Then when you add the cost of the branded shirts and bottoms to the shoes, you’d realise your outfit from head to toe is probably worth around $1,000 or more, which would shock you for like five seconds and then you’d quickly put it out of your mind. Because you’re thinking of your next purchase. True story.

The only thing I haven’t splurged on is bags, because I have a specific requirement for them. But I have my eye on a few items already… So don’t be surprised if you see me on the streets looking like a million bucks one day; my outfit would probably have cost that much. Hahaha!

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Goosebumps Sunday

Just saw this on Guardian UK’s football section and I had goosebumps tingling all over my arms the minute Prince started singing. Ian McCourt was right. It’d be a good song to dance in my underpants to … would be even better if it was raining out there now. Not that I’m in my underpants getting ready to dance or anything, but maybe you’d be inspired:

‘If there is a better song out there than Purple Rain to dance around the house to in your underpants, then I haven’t heard it. Not that I do that … anymore *awkward pause* Just listen to the song.’ — Ian McCourt

Now you watch it and feel those goosebumps too. A classic song is always a wonderful way to end a lovely Sunday!

But if you really want to get major goosebumps, you should attend a love football match and sit at the home end to soak up the atmosphere and energy IRL! I recently watched a YouTube video of around 60,000 really passionate Napoli football fans chanting their latest hero and it was AMAZING. I felt like I was there with them and I could feel their passion radiating through the screen. I was won over that night and I thought it must really be the best feeling in the whole world if I were a star footballer and had so many adoring fans showing their support. Ooh, I’m re-watching the video and I’m getting goosebumps again!

Also, today is my dog’s birthday. He turns two and I’m off to give him a squishy hug, which really annoys him, because he is usually asleep when I disturb him. Hehe. According to the Internet, my dog is either 13/14 years old in human terms! Wow, Milo is a teenager and yet he still looks like an adorable baby boy (in my eyes). He’s the reason why I am capable of giving unconditional love. I know this to be true, because every time I walk past Milo in his “turkey legs” pose, my heart sings with joy at how cute he is.

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Do something for your future self today

Always put yourself first.

Always put yourself first.

I thought this would be inspirational for everyone, since it’s Monday again — the start of another work week. Oh, the horrors. I haven’t been able to log into WordPress via the iPhone app, so some intelligent tech person has to sort that out pronto. It feels weird to be blogging on my laptop, since the last time I did that was months ago. That’s how useful the WordPress iPhone app has been, but I think the new iOS 7 is screwing some of its functionality. SORT IT OUT, WordPress.

So I spent the past two days trying to juggle several things at once, and have successfully not accomplished a single thing. This goes to show how bad I am at multitasking, but also how good I am at procrastinating. It really depends on which perspective you prefer to see. Ahem.

On the bright side, I have sort of formulated a long-term plan for my future. What’s next is to overcome my fears and hesitation in detailing the steps to achieve it and then, of course, carrying it out faithfully. But right now, I have six 1,200-word essays to finish by end-September and one 3,000-word coursework to complete by 7 October. Argh! I felt like I have wasted my whole weekend doing nothing of importance. All my 48 hours were not being utilised well, because I had to sleep, eat, shower, entertain friends and watch TV. Somehow, writing this blog post feels like more precious time is being taken up too. Sorry, my loyal readers, I was only being brutally honest. That’s why you love me! Ahem.

So, I am going to do something today that my future self will thank me for. Spend the next 40 35 minutes doing a quick draft of one essay before I watch the derby match between my beloved Manchester United and those City wannabes. And sleep by 1:30am, so my liver can be super productive and start detoxifying my body.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Photo credit: The sweet Internet

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In love with Jaime Murray

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When I saw this pic, I chuckled out loud, because it’s SO TRUE. That’s what I do every single time after gazing lovingly at Jaime’s photos or watching videos of her and then I think to myself: “No wonder, I’m still single.”

This woman is so incredibly funny (just read her Twitter feed) and she looks gorgeous from almost any camera angle. And that British accent. She’s poised and she sounds intelligent. /me sighs. I was almost sad when I found out that she very likely has a long-term boyfriend. She just has a face and personality that said she’s meant to be a lesbian, you know.

Then again, I’d be equally sad if she was with a girl, but I’d get over it eventually, because she’d be an excellent advocate for all the lesbians in the world. Much like Ellen and Portia. I mean, no one actually knew that Portia was gay, right? And the next thing you know, she’s happily married to Ellen for many years now (something I blogged about months ago).

My crush on her is so deep that I keep refreshing all the social network feeds through the day just to read what she has been doing and see her latest photos. She’s the first person I want to read about and the last person I want to see before I sleep. No wonder, I’m still single. Right?!

My daily quota for Jaime is limitless. I just can’t get enough of this really hot woman. I first noticed her in Dexter and thought “Wow!” Then I saw her again in Warehouse 13 followed by The Finder and thought “Wahey!” Then I realised she’s in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and Defiance too and I was like “Woohoo!” /me is high on beauty.

So yes, I do think she’s perfect in every way. I so want a life partner like her! That’d be my idealistic dream and lusty fantasy come true. Make it happen this year, Universe. I’m right here waiting. For Jaime-lite. Hahaha!

Here’s a few more treats for you (but mainly it’s for me). Jaime was at Dragon Con signing autographs for her Defiance fans, when her devoted nerdsbians presented her with a crown, sceptre and dragon’s blood (which is really liquid soap, I think). She was so touched that she decided to wear the crown and carry the sceptre all the time whenever possible. How super adorable of her, right?!

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True to her word, Jaime wore the crown and carried her sceptre out to dinner with her best friend Julie Benz (another hot woman) weeks later. I haven’t stopped swooning since I started writing this blog post. Sigh.

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Photo credits: The Internet and adoring fangirls of Jaime Murray