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Happy Mother’s Day from me to you


(Oscars 2014: Watch Jared Leto’s Amazing Acceptance Speech for Supporting Actor)

I’m about two months late, but I’ve been meaning to post this since the night I watched it. And it’s a happy coincidence, seeing as it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, this is a wonderful dedication.

I first read about it on my social media feeds, then I went home to watch the video of Jared Leto accepting his award. I’m unabashed to say my eyes welled up when he looked at his mother.

Here’s an excerpt from Time.com:

In 1971, in Bossier City, Louisiana, there was a teenage girl who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high-school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children. She encouraged her kids to be creative and work hard and do something special. That girl was my mother and she’s here tonight. I just want to say ‘I love you mom, thank you for teaching me to dream.’

I got goosebumps just reading his speech again. One day when I’m up on stage accepting an award, I would want to also dedicate it to an amazing woman who went through hardships and made sacrifices just so I would always have a roof over my head and a home to go back when I grew disillusioned with life outside. She did everything and asked for nothing in return, all because I was her child. Mothers are amazing, aren’t they?

I also like how Leto weaved social responsibility and political support for current events into his short, yet meaningful, speech.

To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight in places like Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to to say we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen and live the impossible, we are thinking of you tonight … This is for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS. And to those of you who have ever felt injustice because of who you are and who you love, I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.

I wonder if he had to pre-write a draft or it came naturally to him amid all the blood-rushing-to-head adrenaline and excitement of winning the first Oscar of that night. If it was the latter, then he must be damn intelligent and thoughtful! I am definitely going to model my acceptance speeches after him from now so they can be as amazing, thoughtful and heartfelt as his!

Source: Jared Leto’s amazing speech at the Oscars 2014

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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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Past lovers

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I’d like to think it’s true, since for some strange cosmic reason, I’m never friends with any of my exes. I tried once or twice and it didn’t work out well. Maybe they’re still in love with me, but I highly doubt it, because it’s more to do with me putting zero percent effort in staying in touch.

There are times when I can be so aloof and cold towards people I no longer have affection for that it’s scary for those who like me. Hell, I don’t even like the way I behave towards people sometimes. I can be so bewildering unemotional that I scare myself whenever I think about it.

My friend Erica once said this of me, which I’ve kindly summarised for you: “I’m so unpredictable that people are scared to be friends with me, because they never know when I will be hot or cold towards them. So even though they want to develop a friendship with me, I would never allow them to come close to me.”

One of my exes said something similar to me after an argument. She said I had a wall so high that when she tried breaking it down (or scale over), I kept findings ways to prevent her from doing so and one day she would eventually get tired of trying. Long story short, she did stop trying. That was mainly because I had a self-destructive streak in me which made me believe that I had to try all ways possible to make someone jump through blazing hoops to prove they truly love me and would never leave me, no matter what destructive behaviour I exhibit. Sick huh? I know. The 2013 me is a new and improved version of that 2008-9 defective me.

I had a similar conversation with this another girl who was truly in love with me (I think… Even though she was with someone else at that time), but the 2010 me refused to give her a proper chance, because I didn’t think she was right for me, so I subconsciously declined her advances. I mean, if she could cheat on her partner with me, the likelihood of her cheating on me when we do get together would be really high. First, I wouldn’t trust her and my insecurity would be obvious in my behaviour, which would have made things unpleasant between us. Plus, I wouldn’t want my karma debt to go further into deficit.

It’s weird how karma works, doesn’t it? How the things/misdeeds I did to others were repeated on me. Like I accidentally took this novel my ex-girlfriend loaned me because she wanted me to read one of her favourite books. Shortly after, we broke up and I never had a chance to return it to her. So it’s been on my bookshelf for the past four years and I still haven’t read a single page of it. Maybe I should message her on Facebook soon and see if I could post it back to her.

Why have I brought this up? Because the exact same situation happened to me recently. I loaned my favourite Kokology book to this former love of mine, because she loves it and I wanted to make her happy because I thought we’d be together forever. So in a way, I was renting it to her. Alas, we broke up months later and I never had the chance to get that book back.

Karma sucks. The end.

If two past lovers can remain friends, it’s either they were never in love or they still are.

I’m just going to console myself by thinking that all my exes are somehow in one way or another secretly in love with me, because through knowing and loving me I have inexplicably changed their lives for the better. I’m a life-changer. They just don’t know it yet.

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You’re never alone

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I have been single for so long I have forgotten what it’s like to be with someone and the feeling of being in love. I have a feeling i have forgotten how to flirt too. No, I’m not depressed. I’m just puzzled. Is being a relationship an “end all be all” thing you must do in your life? Is your life only fulfilled by someone else?

Many of my friends and colleagues are seemingly happy with their other halves. Hell, even my former girlfriend seems to have found someone she clearly wants to be with and is extremely happy with. Maybe he fulfils everything on her checklist, has her parents’ approval and meets her criteria for an eventual “happily ever after” marriage with plenty of children. Yes, it cuts me just thinking about it or seeing any photographic evidence. It makes me wonder if she was ever in love with me and if she truly wanted to be with me. Probably not.

The devil in me obviously said: “Good riddance to that emotional immature wreck and that I should be happy that someone has finally taken her off my hands and that I’m free from her numerous taxing issues and that she has finally met someone who is at her childish level.” Woah, there are many “that” in that sentence alone. And wow, the devil in me is super vindictive.

Back to the point I’m making. I am largely numb from the pain I had felt over the past two years. After all, I feel much lighter (mentally) now that I am not tormented from the hoops she used to make me go through. Maybe I wasn’t ready for her. Maybe I wasn’t emotionally strong to handle her. Maybe i wasn’t right for her. And if a relationship was taking its toll on me and was difficult since the beginning, it should have been a cue for me to run far far away from her the first chance I got. Like what my friends Jean and Qiqi warned me from the start. My excuse to all my friends who saw me in anguish and tears during the entire relationship was that I love that girl too damn much to let go. Silly huh?

She was my muse in all my writing — every column I wrote for work and every post I wrote on this blog was dedicated to her. Even now, there are still traces of her in my memory, in my life and in the things I do. See why it had been so hard for me to let go? I had dug myself into a hole so deep I became claustrophobic and lost my way back to the entrance.

I still want my Kokology book back from her though. She said she would send it back to me, though she did add the caveat that she would do it when she’s free. A cuss word is right at the tip of my tongue now. Refrain!!! Ok, refrained. I hate it when my ex-girlfriends keep something of mine and not return them. Annoying. Especially so, when they usually take things that I like and cherish. Not to mention a piece of my heart.

‘There’s a moment in every relationship, when romance gives way to reality.’ —Carrie Bradshaw

That’s when you know a relationship isn’t working out. So, it’s ok if you are single. You don’t really need someone to “complete” you. The world does not require you to make more babies. Overpopulation is already a serious issue for governments and there are already too many children around living in poverty. Stop adding to it. The world does have limited resources to support a population of seven billion — a number that is still growing every day. Besides, being single means more time to spend with your family, your friends and even your beloved dog (or cat). Most importantly, you get to be yourself and love who you are and enjoy being you.

With this, I’d like to end my piece on being single with these surprising deep and very apt quotes from Sex And The City.

‘Later that night, I got to thinking about fate — the concept that we’re not responsible for the course of our lives, that it’s all predestined, written in the stars. Maybe that explains why, if you live in a city where you can’t see the stars, your love life tends to feel more random.

‘Even if every kiss, every heartache is pre-ordered from some cosmic catalogue, can we still take a wrong step and wander off our personal Milky Way? I couldn’t help but wonder: can you make a mistake and miss your fate?’ —Carrie Bradshaw

Maybe you were my mistake, maybe we were meant to be but I screwed it up, maybe it wasn’t the right time for us, maybe we will meet again someday, maybe we will be the best of friends, maybe we will fall in love with each other some time down the road. Or maybe, just maybe, you were meant to only pass through my life and teach me a valuable lesson about myself, while I was meant to bring joy, laughter and rainbows into your life at a point in time when you really needed to be happy again. No matter what happened between us, there will always be a fragment of you hidden in a crevice of my heart. You’re the secret I would whisper into a tree and let the wind take the memory of us to a parallel world where we would be together looking at the same stars every night.

Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love … or be who we are.

After all, seasons change. So do cities.
People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart.’ —Carrie Bradshaw

NB: Yes, I’m a sucker for Sex And The City! I’ve been watching the reruns almost daily at 9:30am. It’s so fascinating to see how the show had influenced all the girls in the late 90s to early 2000s. The concept of love, sex, relationships and dating has definitely shifted since then. Whether it had been a good influence is still debatable.

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Cheer up, it’s only Monday

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Every time I see this picture, I go “Awwwwww” because I’m reminded of how Milo was when he first came into our lives. He looked exactly like this puppy in the picture with his really long slender body, big floppy ears and wagging tail. He was long, dark and deceptively handsome if you see him IRL. He’s not good-looking in a conventional way, but he has a certain innate charm that I think all puppies have. Must be those puppy eyes.

Every time Milo the puppy pounced on anyone of us joyfully, we’d get a dose of happiness, no matter what mood we were in. If there is one thing I wish I had done more of, it’d be to carry him in my arms more often and let him sleep with my parents or me from the beginning, instead of being left alone in a cage in a darkened living room. Should have never listened to those so-called pet-shop owners or dog trainers!

I also wish I had a better camera phone then. Then we’d have many clearer pictures of him, instead of the dark fuzzy ones that no one can decipher. Haha!

So, happy Monday to y’all. Remember, seeing pictures of adorable cats and dogs has been scientifically proven to brighten up your day and make you more productive. Go on, start browsing now.

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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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A kiss between two cute girls

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These two girls are so incredibly cute together. I so want to see them together forever. Yes, even though they are just high-school kids who are probably susceptible to mood swings/fickleness/indecisiveness about love and their partners and have yet to enter the real adult world, Glee’s Santana and Brittany are the cutest ‘Lebanese’ couple in TV-land and I just can’t get enough of them. They give me so much hope. Seeing them make out is alluringly hot as well. Ahem.

Here’s a little heartfelt moment of how deep their love runs for each other and why they are meant to be together no matter what from Glee season 2, episode 15 “Sexy”:

Santana: I wanna be with you, but I’m afraid of the talks and the looks. I mean, you know what happened to Kurt at this school.

Brittany: But honey, if anybody were to ever make fun of you, you would either kick their ass or slash them with your vicious, vicious words.

Santana: Yeah, I know, but I’m so afraid of what everyone will say behind my back. Still, I have to accept that I love you. I love you and I don’t want to be with Sam or Finn or any of those other guys. I just want you. Please say you love me back. Please.

Brittany: Of course, I love you. I do. And I would totally be with you if it weren’t for Artie.

Santana: Artie.

Brittany: I love him too. I don’t wanna to hurt him. That’s not right. I can’t break up with him.

Santana: Yes, you can. He’s just a stupid boy.

Brittany: But it wouldn’t be right, Santana. You have to know if Artie and I were to ever break up, and [if] I’m lucky enough and you’re still single…

Santana: Don’t.

Brittany: I am so yours. Proudly so.

So hot. Right?

They are each other’s best friend and they understand each other better than anyone else do. I love how they are always together, always holding hands, cuddling, glancing at each other with a knowing smile and showing little signs of affection with each other.

Brittany even told Santana that she loves her more than she has loved anyone else in the whole world. And she is a very supportive girlfriend who would always try to help Santana achieve her dreams in her naive, slightly airhead way.

Santana, on her part, would defend Brittany to the hilt whenever anyone tried to criticise or bully her. She also turns gentle whenever they are together. Santana told Brittany that in her sophomore year she would sit at the back of the choir room and secretly watch Brittany. She would count the number of times Brittany smiled at her and died at the days she didn’t. How sweet huh?

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Brittany: Someday, I’m gonna marry Santana.
Santana: *smiles*

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They look so sweet together—a perfect combination of sexy, wild and cute at the same time. And I love how their friends are so supportive of them.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pGVTrtGgAmU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DpGVTrtGgAmU

I especially love the part when Brittany pulled Santana’s arm out of her jacket, just so she could hold her hand. It just seems so natural and genuine. Swoons.

How incredibly hot if they were to be together IRL?! I might just faint.

Here’s a compilation YouTube video of their best moments together:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UERsZImECTk&feature=fvwrel

Here’s an even better compilation video of the trials and tribulations Santana and Brittany had to go through to be better: http://youtu.be/tSEr4ch4Pi0

Wow, okay, I have to stop now, before my crush for Brittana/Santittany turns obsessive. Then again, there will always be more obsessive fans than me on the Internet. So I’m safe. Hahaha!

Image credits: Santana and Brittany celebrate Valentine’s Day, Santana and Brittany making out and Santana and Brittany share a kiss.

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A golden kiwi a day

I’m always amused when I see a gold kiwifruit. It is shaped like a tear drop, with a protruding neck—which reminds me of a headless kiwi bird—and smooth hairless body, which is totally unlike the green kiwifruit.

According to a New Zealand kiwifruit producer Zespri (the brand of the kiwis that I’m currently eating now), the biggest difference between the green and gold kiwi is taste. “While green kiwifruit has a tangier, more tart flavor, gold kiwifruit is mellow and tropical, a mixture of mango, melon and citrus flavours.”

Well, golden kiwifruits are just fabulous for our health. Based on this long article which I’ve read so you don’t have to, here are a few key points why we should all eat more golden kiwis instead of apples from now on.

According to a 2011 study published in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, a Japanese research team examined seven fruits that are known to have high antioxidant content: gold kiwis, green kiwis, navel oranges, mandarin oranges, white grapefruits, ruby grapefruits and apples.

The team wanted to know which fruit had the highest concentration of polyphenols (powerful antioxidants that offset the effects of molecules known as free radicals), which were most effective in reducing lipid oxidation (the process whereby fatty acids are turned into free radicals that damage cells), and which were most effective in eliminating free-ranging hydrogen peroxide (another type of free radical produced as a byproduct of the body’s process to create and use energy at the cellular level).

By reducing the amount of oxidised lipids and the number of other free radicals in blood serum, physicians believe people can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease. A common way to reduce free radicals and oxidised lipids is to consume more antioxidant-rich food such as the aforementioned fruits.

Suffice to say, golden kiwis kicked every fruit’s asses, particularly apple’s.

The researchers found that gold kiwi’s polyphenols content was approximately 1.04mg per ml, green kiwi was second with 0.85mg/ml, navel oranges were third at 0.80mg/ml, while apples were last at 0.13 mg/ml.

As for the antioxidant properties of these polyphenols, the researchers found that both gold kiwi and navel orange inhibited oxidation of 60% of the lipids, with apples again last at 23%.

To further evaluate the antioxidant properties of the fruits, the researchers measured the amount of hydrogen peroxide eliminated by the fruit juices. Guess what? Gold kiwi significantly outperformed the other fruits by eliminating over 60% of the hydrogen peroxide. No other fruit achieved greater than 30% elimination, and apples were last at less than 10%.

The scientific team said: “All these indicators showed the highest activity for gold kiwi, demonstrating that gold kiwi has strong antioxidant effects. Overall, green kiwi had lower antioxidant effects than gold kiwi, but had stronger effects than the other fruits.”

So, if you’d like to add a tasty fruit to your daily diet, try the golden kiwi. It’s more expensive than the regular green ones, sure, but it’s worth all the health benefits and yummy sweetness you’d be getting. I like scooping the tender flesh with a teaspoon after chilling it for a while. Simply delightful.

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Bert’s and Ernie’s moment of joy

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I have always loved Sesame Street since young. It was a show I watched every day without fail—learning the alphabet of the day or seeing how the Count recite (sing?!) his numbers or laughing at how grouchy Oscar is whenever Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus walk past his trash can.

I used to think that I would keep watching Sesame Street even when I’m all grown up. Obviously that didn’t happen. I did grow out of it. But the affection I have for my favourite character Ernie has never wavered—so much so that I even bought large and small soft toys of Ernie when I was younger. But I gave them all away years ago, because I am ultimately not a big fan of soft toys, no matter how plush and cuddly soft they are.

I like Ernie, because he’s always cheerful and quick to laugh, even when things go wrong. He has lots of crazy ideas that never seem to take off, but he keeps trying anyway. He’s so happy-go-lucky that it’s infectious. He’s also easily content! Singing with his rubber duckie is enough to make him happy! Come to think of it, Ernie is quite the bimbo. Ahem.

Anyway, my former best friend used to say I look and behave like Ernie. I’m tanned with a large squarish face that’s framed by messy out-of-bed hair. And truth to be told, I’m not the most intelligent among my friends. A bit of an airhead, my friends have told me since secondary school. So I was rather pleased to resemble Ernie. Haha!

As I grew older, people around started telling me that Bert and Ernie are gay, which was really a surprise to me because I’ve always thought they are simply two best friends who love each other’s company so much that they decide to stay together. And I remember being envious and wishing that one day I would have a close friend like that to stay together with.

So it doesn’t really matter to me whether they are gay or not… Because if you think about it, couples who stay together and love each other—whether they are straight or gay—are always best friends first.

After the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage this week, I’m guessing Bert and Ernie are delighted about having their union finally being recognised by the law, as Jack Hunter lovingly illustrates on the cover of next week’s The New Yorker issue “Moment of Joy”.

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Hunter, who originally submitted his image unsolicited to a Tumblr page. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”

I agree. The second I saw the image above, I went “Awwww”. It’s really sweet, huh? That particular moment of tenderness between Bert and Ernie… is a moment of joy anyone who has ever been in love can relate to.

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Love when you’re ready

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Are you a fan of one of my favourite shows this season? Well, you should be. If not, you better start watching Californication soon, because it fucking blows your mind. Quite literally at times, with the amount of swear words, drugs, sex, roll and rock and decadence and debauchery the producers can provide in an 30-minute episode.

I love this particular season finale Season 6, episode 12 of Californication: “I’ll Lay My Monster Down”. It was a mixed bag of emotions—some warm, sweet and lovely, some heartbreaking and forlorn because of unrequited feelings and unresolved issues.

Atticus Fetch: The woman that you love is out there and you know you can’t have her. How do you even get up in the morning?

Hank Moody: Well, the booze is always helpful, and so is the art. Everything that I write is either for her or about her. So I’m with her, even when I’m not.

Breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

This scene reminded me of the times the numerous blogposts I wrote and have unknowingly dedicated to this particular someone I fell in love with the past three years.

Maybe we are not meant to be together in this lifetime, but it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped thinking about her or wondering what might have been. I’ve just managed to block her out of my mind for the time being, but I know that the second I allow the dams to burst, everything will come rushing out. So I keep all my thoughts hidden under a sea of calm, hoping that my memory will soon be erased (wishful thinking, I know, but you’d be amazed how time can dilute your memory). Maybe after a while, I wouldn’t even remember that this person once existed in my life.

I guess this is why I feel like I’m in a daze sometimes—lost and adrift in the middle of the sea—trying to find an anchor (or an idyllic island paradise) in my life. Do I really want to love someone again? Am I ready to let someone into my life again? These are questions I have no answers to.

Maybe that’s why I thought the quote above is apt for today.

Love when you’re ready; not when you’re lonely.