Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Creepy, Dark, Controversial,
and Beautiful

          Explanation for the picture: I just think the 2 items are things our anti-heroine, Lisbeth, would find useful. (I don't own a golf club, if you know what I mean...)
Well, first off, I gotta say I haven't enjoyed reading like this in a while. This read was such a reward after trying to gobble down The Windup Girl - unsuccessfully - and The Slaughterhouse Five (Sorry, Sooks, I'm just not into that kind of sci-fi).
          The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a book I couldn't abandon anytime I left the house this past week, and it was primarily due to the aura of the title character. I have to admit, with most of the book switching back and forth between events surrounding Mikael Blomkvist and those surrounding Lisbeth Salander, I often found myself rushing through Mikael's happenings so I could find out what Lisbeth was up to. Then when Lisbeth's sequences would end, I would be craving to follow her even more.  I can say she is one of the most original and admirable characters I have ever encountered. Just like her acquaintances in the story, I am mesmerized by her enigma. To the point that I'm not sure whether I desire to be her or I'm turning lesbian... Her allure is truly that bewildering. 
          But more than just the guilty pleasure of obsessing over her cut-throat, angry personality, there is the frustration and sadness of Lisbeth's hopelessness in companionship. If you're like me and you fall for this mad creature, empathy is going to come down hard on you.
          Don't be misguided though, the book's not only moving just because of one character. It's got one heck of a twisted, sinister plot. And it is quite an insight on real controversies in Swedish society. 
         Not for the faint-hearted.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Current Dilemmas, Hamlet Style

  1. To dye or not to dye, that is the question.
  2. To research matter for debate or not to research matter for debate, TITQ.
  3. To bring film camera on trip or not to bring film camera on trip, TITQ.
  4. To drink coffee now or not to drink coffee now, TITQ.
  5. To pack now or not to pack now, TITQ.
  6. To take a shower now or not to take a shower now, TITQ.
  7. To suppress desires for a new camera or not to suppress desires for a new camera, TITQ.
  8. To get off Facebook so I can pretend to be ignorant about responsibilities or... nah, no question.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


          It's not my blogging style to whine and curse about my internal issues like an emo kid on the internet - that was so 7 years ago - but blogging isn't blogging without getting personal once in a while, so here's my one-on-one therapy session with myself that you're all allowed to sit in on.
          I am currently facing a struggle of integrity. I feel like at this time in my life I am doing something not because my heart is in it but because of the remote rewards I get for doing it. Why this is giving me so much misery is because I feel like a such liar when I try to motivate myself from a superficial source. I need to imagine what I'll be missing if I quit. But it's getting to the point where I can barely see the benefits this activity promises me. Not that the benefits have lessened or anything, it's just that to me the same things don't mean the same to me anymore. (If that makes any sense.) Another dilemma I'm facing is that when I look around at all the people who seem to be so internally-motivated in this activity, I feel guilty, like I am offending them and their ambition.
          I know what you're probably thinking. That it's time for me to quit, right? But grrrr, I just hate being "the one who gave up." Maybe it's an insecurity and fear I have. The kind of fear that will get a person through 8 years of classical ballet after she has concluded that she hates being a ballerina. Sounds uncannily  like a true story. The point is there's an intrinsic part of me that's always questioning my endurance every time I consider any sort of resignation. Sometimes this moral-self is something to despise. But ultimately, it's something I have to credit for my reputation of perseverance.
        So for now, I'm going to stick to the status quo. I'm just going to wait out my endurance and rely on my nature. Life has only shown me that when something becomes an obstacle to the things I love to do, my tolerance lasts only so much.  I'd say this is a fine mechanism.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Things I Don't Feel Guilty About Spending Money On [#6]

6. Records
This is a bit eccentric of me, but I have always cherished my parents' vinyls that they have kept from their youth, and so it thrills me to add my own possession to the aged collection.  I admit that I do selfishly indulge in the fact that record-collecting is a such an arcane hobby for someone of my age (and geographic region), but hey, I think we all know by now that I am an old soul. Besides that, the philosophy behind buying a vinyl is much like my philosophy behind being a book. When I buy a record, I'm buying a physical piece of art itself. And it is also art which ages so beautifully. #rebelofthedigitalage

Mom & Dad's
Becoming a Jackal (2010) - Villagers
My favorite album of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009) - Phoenix
The vinyl and inner sleeve of Serotonin (2010) - Mystery Jets

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

If You Can Catch A Break, Seize It.

          What a rewarding afternoon I had with my dad, after a full week of demanding work... 
          Today was my last day working as a staff for the Rotary convention being hosted in Bangkok. For a week, I've been working at a desk in hotels, answering questions, blah, blah, blah... Some of my friends joined the program too. Though none of us got assigned to the same places or the same tasks, I'm positive we all experienced our ultimate downs and ups. For me personally, it has been a challenge juggling staffing, tutoring, and finishing up my freshman year of uni. But I'm glad to have pulled through all and to have learned the valuable lessons I have. For one, I have discovered (or rediscovered) the advantage of being bold before being sure of correctness. I've also learned that I'm not as antisocial as I thought I was - kudos to me. And I learned that more than unreasonable guests, I don't appreciate people who always insist on playing the my-job-is-harder-than-your-job game. Listen to Plato: "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
          Anyway, after such trying experience, I decided that it has been too long since the good ole days when just my dad and I would go out for a blockbuster and a meal or two. So after work today, I called him up and asked him out, despite the fact that after work I'm usually only up for one thing: to go home and die on my couch
          The two of us ended up having some refreshing mango smoothies at True Coffee, watching The Avengers, and finishing off our date with really amazingly authentic Japanese ramen at Chabuton. The timing was just perfect. The thing is I am actually dreading the arrival of tomorrow because I know a new load of responsibilities will be dumped on me. Hence, the meaning behind this post's title. I've been longing for my summer break to really begin - that is, to feel true freedom. But I have realized that it is so difficult for me to catch a break. I'm just one who keeps herself busy. It's my nature. So today I just caught a rare moment of tasklessness, and by instinct I seized it. The moment was so genuine, it didn't matter (as it usually does) that I didn't have my good camera to capture it:

[Via my BlackBerry]
1. Last time wearing that uniform  2. Like my shirt?  3. "Mango Twist" it's called
4. My favorite guy's the green one, even when he's not green  5. Tonkotsu Ramen

P.S. Working at a hotel, I DID see a guest try to take a picture when her LENS CAP WAS ON. =]