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The Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Golden Globe show 2014

This year’s Golden Globes’ opening monologue by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had me in stitches for nine whole minutes. They were so witty that my face was so scrunched up from laughing so hard. And now my right eye hurts. But it’s so good to laugh out loud for so long. Remember my last post on why laughing is good for you? 😀

If you thought Tina and Amy were hilarious last year (which I reviewed on this blog), you need to watch how they topped that performance with this year’s epic opening act. They are simply two of the funniest and seriously intelligent women in Hollywood right now. I can’t wait to watch the full show just to see what other hilarious antics Fey and Poehler got up to.

Here are some of my favourite one-liners from the dynamic comedic duo (Telegraph UK):

Tina: “The Wolf of Wall Street shocked viewers by using the F-word 506 times in three hours. Which is the new record. Unless you count my dad trying to hang some curtains rods in our living room.”

Tina: “Amy Poehler is nominated for her work on Parks and Recreation.”
Amy: “I believe Amy is here tonight. Can we get a shot of her?”
[Camera pans to Jennifer Lawrence with Amy Poehler’s name at the bottom of the screen]
Tina: “She looks fantastic!”
Amy: “She looks amazing! Wow, radiant! It is hard to believe she’s a 42-year-old mother of two!”

Tina: “Meryl Streep is so brilliant in August: Osage County, proving that there are still great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60.”

The one about Meryl Streep is hilarious because few weeks ago Streep made an acceptance speech at Napalms Film Festival about how she’s grateful for the great roles she has received even though she’s over 60 years old and that there’s still opportunities for older women in Hollywood.

And this one below is my personal top favourite. Fey delivered it with enough deadpan aplomb. And the camera immediately panned to Sandra Bullock (George Clooney’s co-star in Gravity) who was laughing so hard she was slapping her knee. Priceless.

Tina: “Gravity is nominated for Best Film. It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”

Tina:”Matthew McConaughey did amazing work this year. For his role in Dallas Buyers Club, he lost 45 pounds. Or what actresses call being in a movie.”

Amy: “One of the most nominated films this year is 12 Years a Slave. I loved 12 Years a Slave and I can honestly say that after seeing that film, I will never look at slavery the same way again.”
Tina: “Wait, how were you—”
Amy: “And what a year for television!”

Amy: “Before earning a Golden Globe nomination for his first ever actinrole in Captain Phillips, Barkhad Abdi was working as a limousine driver in Minnesota. There’s such a beautiful life lesson here, everyone: Sleep with your limo driver tonight. Before he gets famous.”

Amy: “A lot of nominated shows this year are actually on Netflix. House of Cards. Orange Is the New Black. Enjoy it while it lasts, Netflix. Because you’re not going to be feeling so smug in a couple of years when SnapChat is up here accepting Best Drama.”

What a great way to chase away those Monday blues. Seriously, go click on the link above already.

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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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Life is good, sometimes I forget

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It’s true, you know. Sometimes I tend to forget how wonderful my life is, especially in times when I allow frustration or doubts to creep into my mind and fill me up with dissatisfaction. Then I think about at least three good things I have going on in my life at the present moment and I become thankful for my life all over again.

So three things I’m currently grateful for:

1) My dog Milo who is absolutely the cutest old man with the saddest eyes in the world. This look is not a combo that any dog or human bean can beat. The minute he cuddles up to me on the couch (after trying to bite me no less), my heart just melts. He’a a naturally independent dog, you see. Attention-seeking Milo may be, but he is content to sleep alone without anyone beside him most of the times. So yes, it feels like a bonus when he snuggles with me.

2) My cable TV which has all the channels available along with HD resolution, so I can watch any programme I want at anytime and any day of the week! If only “The Duggers Family” and “Kate + Eight” are still playing on Discovery Home and Living. But hey, having HBO and FX are pretty awesome already. If I ever had to have a TV channel to epitomise me, FX would be the one. It’s smart, witty, funny, quirky cool, stylish and has the best collection of songs. So me. Haha!

3) My literacy, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to appreciate excellent TV shows with topnotch writing such as “Scandal”, “Games of Thrones”, “Mad Men”, “Archer”, “Two Broke Girls”and “Californication”, just to name a few. Without my literacy, I wouldn’t be able to laugh at enjoyable reads such as Mindy Kaling’s “Is everyone hanging out without me?” and Rick Riordan’s “The Heroes of Olympus” and “The Kane Chronicles”. Eh, I said enjoyable, not Pulitzer-winning reading material.

Enjoy your week, every birdie! And if you’re so inclined, do share your list of three things you’re thankful for today. The universe will love you for it. Remember, life is good.

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Someday girl

A memorable quote from one of my favourite sitcoms Cougar Town (it’s totally hilarious and witty. Everyone should be watching it!), Stop Dragging My Heart Around (S1E10):

Andy: Did lover boy tell you he likes Jules?

Laurie: What?!

Grayson: What? No. I just said someday I could end up with a girl like her.

Laurie: Jules is your someday girl?!

Grayson: My what now?

Laurie: A someday girl is someone who someday someone else can see themselves ending up with someday. It’s super serious.

Grayson: Someday girl is a great title for a new song.

In short, a someday girl is a girl you aren’t pursuing or involved with now, but a person whom you can see yourself ending up with someday. “Someday” could be 20 years from now, or it could be tomorrow. Who knows? Anything is possible.

The entire episode is gold, with the appropriate amount of cheesiness, heartfelt moments, angst, pranks, humour, friendship, laughter and love. I’m so glad I turned on the TV last night.

Because that wasn’t the only quote that caught my ears and mind. It was what Ellie said at the closing scene that really got to me and it was all I could do to stop tearing (I really ought to stop being such a crybaby!).

Ellie: I just remind myself how scary it would be out there drifting alone. It’s weird with relationships. Two people can start off in the same place and for whatever reasons, they split off in different directions …

… I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love you and I’m so happy that I am not out there having to start all over to look for what we have, because it’s hard to find and even harder to keep.

We have had so much history together and we are always going be attached in some way or another, but maybe our happy ending is us being friends. 🙂

Seriously, click “play” already.

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Life will be all right

Ishika Mohan/20th Century Fox

I’ve wanted to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel when the British film was still showing in cinemas around late June/early July. I remember reading reviews of it and thought: “This sounds like a heart-warming feel-good movie that should make us laugh and enjoy our two hours in the cinema.” Plus, I had watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen before that and absolutely loved it. The Brit irony and sarcastic wit was hilarious.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was nearly at the end of its run here though, which meant it had limited timings at certain cinemas only so finding the right person and the right day to watch it was critical. I remember asking someone if she wanted to watch it and the response I got was: “No, I don’t understand British accents.”

I was silent after that. It’s a movie. It has subtitles. Besides, you’re supposed to put your brain at the door and be entertained. How hard can it be to understand spoken English?

Anyway, we didn’t watch it together in the end. But I’m so glad I managed to finally watch the movie.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a 2012 British comedy-drama film that was based on the 2004 novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. The two-hour long film features an ensemble cast including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith among a group of British pensioners moving to a newly opened retirement resort in Jaipur, India. However, upon their arrival, the seven financially distressed and retired Brit men and women discover the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is far from the luxurious retreat “for the elderly and beautiful” that its advertising claims. Despite not meeting their expectations, most of them take it in stride and begin to flourish in their new-found adventure, letting the trip change their lives forever.

Each of them has a sad story that forces or influences them to head for India (read brief sketches of them here.) Most of them can’t afford the high living expenses needed to retire in England. They miss home and their children, but they can’t go back. It made me realise I should save more money and worry about building my retirement nest, instead of splurging on materialistic items that would probably not last long enough as heirlooms.

There are pleasant surprises. One of them was Graham Dashwood, a retired High Court judge, who grew up in Jaipur and is returning for the first time since his youth. Turns out he is a middle-aged gay man who’s “more in theory than in practice nowadays”. Graham hopes to reconnect with his Indian lover, whose family was disgraced when their affair was discovered. He has loved him his whole life, thinking that he had lost the love of his life forever and wanting to make up to him if he could ever find him again. And he does find a happy ending, but not what you’d expect.

This is a feel-good film whose optimism and sentimentality gives me hope that it’s never too late to leave my comfort zone and explore new horizons, as long as I’m willing to go with the flow.

Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.

Muriel: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.

Evelyn: The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with the disappointment, as we all must.

Because in the end no matter what happens, whether it’s good or bad, life will still go on and you will be fine. Really.

Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, then it is not yet the end.

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IM with my Genie

On a typical day, my mates and I can talk about absolutely anything at work even when we are miles apart from each other. So thank you, Interweb for bringing much joy into our lives. I wish I could show you the full transcript which is even more hilarious but I mustn’t. My mates are very lucky to have me as a friend. But here is the edited version anyway:

On travel:
Genie: Wow, tickets are expensive.
The Imaginarator: My money and I are not meant to be together for long and I don’t want to be a stray over at country X
Genie: You can just swim over
The Imaginarator: I can’t swim and there might be sharks

On part-time education:
Genie: It’s almost the season for sale
The Imaginarator: Oh, if only degrees have discounts too

On love and life:
The Imaginarator: Yeh it’s been a very tough six months for me so I am just coasting along now.
Genie: Can you not be so vulnerable? Don’t lose Sagittarians’ face. [Yes, the both of us are Sagittarius] Tell me about how bad it can be.
The Imaginarator: I have feelings all right.
Genie: Geez, I thought you were the playeur, not the playee.
The Imaginarator: I’m real soft deep down.
Genie: Don’t be traumatised. It’s alright. You still have a bright future ahead of you
The Imaginarator: Yeh, I don’t see it now. I am walking around like the wounded and it’s not doing me any good.
Genie: Don’t be silly. You should just switch on the lights. Open up your eyes.

On anger issues:
The Imaginarator: How to snap out of it
Genie: Go on long trip!! Travelling alone can be therapeutic.
The Imaginarator: I swear I can really explode sometimes.
Genie: Be calm… Getting angry just makes you older. It’s more worthwhile to get pissed over missing the $10m lottery by just one number than over someone else’s reactions.

So to conclude, maybe I’m the lucky sod, not them.

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Be still, my heart.

Yesterday around 3am, in the midst of typing furiously to meet my deadline today, I couldn’t stop you from appearing in my head. Soon, I got overwhelmed with this rising fear choking me and I could work no more. From sorrow or regret, I’ve no idea. All I knew was the more I tried to stop my heart from beating, the faster it got.

And I thought, be still my heart. This could be a brand new start, with you. And it will be clear if I wake up and you’re still here with me in the morning. But the truth is… you haven’t been by my side since six months ago. I miss you still.