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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Uncertain.

So my first week of my degree life is almost over.

On the forefront, it does seem like studying Law is going to be very exciting, particularly as it does concern many very common current issues such as crimes, contracts, libel and defamation etc. More importantly, it'll give me valuable knowledge about how to avoid being sued, and how to sue others. (Though hopefully nothing will come to that.)

On the other hand, all the lecturers have emphasized on the importance of staying updated with the law, cases, and policies, not just in the UK or Malaysia, but in other common law jurisdictions as well. This has not yet included the necessary research (read : blatant plagiarism) on journals and articles by judges and legal academics.

In a nutshell, readreadread until your poor strained eyes can take it no more.


This is, however, not yet another long-winded rant post complaining about the workload. Yet. The academic year is still new, the bright shiny optimism is still present and checked, and there's still a buzz of excitement about the new classes.

No, this is a post about my musings on my future. Because I have no idea about what I want to do with my life.

My greatest dream, ever since I could ever remember, was to write. To simply let my imaginary stories dance across pages for everyone else to enjoy. I have always lived with my head above the clouds with made-up characters and fairytales; which also provides a nasty inkling that I shouldn't be studying something that requires me to be very consistently and firmly grounded.

However, my writing dreams have never come to fruition. I don't mean the lack of any actual success with my work, I mean that I have yet to even buckle down and start planning a decent plot, which is how it all begins.

I'm too frightened to thoroughly contemplate living with an unstable career, and the horror of having to resort to living the cliche life of working part-time while trying to make a mark in the publishing world. Also, don't we have more than enough fiction writers than one can shake a stick at? How far could one actually go?

Then of course, there was the typical childhood dream of becoming a performer. Thankfully, my singing and dancing dreams have been uprooted, simply because I realised I enjoy it more as a hobby and have too much stage fright to take things any further. Otherwise, there would be another option in the mix which would complicate things further.


But what if I decided not to pursue my literary dreams, but instead took the road more travelled by and became a solicitor? (Far be it for me to even consider becoming a barrister.) The road wouldn't be any more easy to travel, but there is a further reaching sense of security.

Would I hate myself though? Would I resort to blaming those I love for not chasing after this dream? Or am I just being incredibly naive thinking that people actually grow into the life they dreamed of achieving as a child?

It's not that I'm not interested in Law, because I am eager to learn about the workings of the judiciary, particularly that of the UK; but can one mistake mere inquisitivity for passion?

The reason for this whole debacle taking residence in my mind now is because I've now realised that I may be doing this (non-stop legal research) for the rest of my life. A close family lawyer friend has also remained unattached for almost all of her adult life; her contracts being her bible and life partners. Is that how I would want to end up?


Of course, I may be just somehow inventing all these doubts as excuses for being work-shy. I may also be excessively emotional due to PMS as my period is due soon (yes, during CNY no less), but I just wanted to document this nonsensical rant, hoping it will make sense to someone, because it certainly makes no sense to me.

Providence, please light my way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My unbiased Twisties Superstarz experience.

In the admittedly short period in which I have restarted blogging, I have yet to actually hammer out an "event" post, which basically is about any sort of outing I've recently been for.

My reasons are simple, besides the everpresent laziness, the most dominant reason is : I HAVE NO SOCIAL LIFE TO SPEAK OF. If I were to list down all my outings, they'd consist of mainly going out for lunch/dinner/supper with the exact same 3-7 people I regularly met up with all year. All are old high school mates; unfortunately have had little to no luck of really clicking with anyone in college. 

Another reason is that blogs that always seem to feature outings can only be successful if they're written by famous people, otherwise noone cares who you went out with, what you wore, or what you ate. It gets extremely self-indulgent and falls flat, and I personally don't enjoy writing "event" posts that much.


But anyway, writing these in moderation won't hurt, and this isn't just any typical outing!

As the title suggests, I was at Twisties Superstarz, which was held at KL Live Centre last Saturday. It was a singing reality show thing ala American Idol, and I was singing back-up vocals for Nick Ng, one of the 8 finalists in the running to win the RM20k reward.

I managed to convince close friends Paul, Tzi Ying, and Sze Jie (3/7 of the usual people I hang out with) to come for the event to ahem support me. Thats what I told them, but honestly just wanted to be sure that I wouldn't be feeling madly alone and left out that night.


With Sze Jie & Tzi Ying, who shall be referred to as Zinc (my nickname for her) from now on. And umm since I have never posted a picture of myself on this blog before, I suppose you wouldn't know which person in the above pic is me.

I'm really self-conscious about this because I am unbelievably unphotogenic. But I suppose I shouldn't lie to my non-existent readers. Please turn your attention towards the person at the far right of the pic wearing a neon orange jacket.

Yup, that's me. Sexy eh?



With Paul & Sze Jie, after having kfc for dinner, which was the only affordable place to eat nearby.

I was free to hang out with them the whole night until the 2nd round of performances (finalists had to prepare 2 songs each), because Nick only requested back-up help for his 2nd song.

I really enjoyed most of the 1st round performances! 2nd round ones were mostly super disappointing. I'm no music expert so am not gonna bother doing a long, boring rundown on every single song choice like a narcissistic judge wannabe.

However, the most standout performances in terms of vocals, stage presence, and crowd interaction in my opinion were Cheryl's "Last Dance", Heart Attack's "A Thousand Years", and Jason's "Nothing", in exactly that order.

I honestly can't recall any other performances so they must've sucked (only my personal opinion mind!), and Nick isn't included there because I know him personally and I was involved in one performance so I don't trust myself to be unbiased in ranking him, but rest assured he was amazing!


This is Cheryl Koh. She won first runner up for the competition, but I am firmly convinced that noone deserved the title more than her. She's the youngest contestant at just 16, and everything about her is small (she's really short and skinny, pocket-sized really) except for her voice. By oh so far the strongest singer in the competition, and probably one of the best in Malaysia.

Check out this video of her! Admittedly not great, but was the best I could find and does not by a mile justify her talent.

I'm probably rambling on a bit too much about her, I'm sorry, but she really did blow me away! I was probably staring at her with googly eyes the whole night too, bet anything she thinks I'm creepy. (which I am)


This is Jason O'Malley. His name reminds me of Aristocats, one of my fav childhood movies. Must download that movie soon.

Took a pic with him because he is the best looking guy in the competition, and I'm only human. The fact that he did one of my fav performances that night had no influence whatsoever on my decision to ask for a picture. Gosh I am so shameless.


This is Nick, who very sadly did not place in the top 3. Have known him for a few years now, and have always loved his performance style; will probably never ever stop supporting his music. Check out his YouTube channel here if you're curious or just bored!

Nick's first song was Sunday Morning by Maroon 5, which went off really great, and the second one was Man In The Mirror, which he asked me and another guy called Jeremy to sing back-up for.


One big perk of being backstage : pics with celebrities!


This is Jin, you may know him as one of the hitz.fm's radio hosts. He was one of the emcees of the night, along with VJ Holley from MTV!

Small side note, VJ Holley was probably the worst professional emcee I've ever experienced. She did not bother to interact or connect with the crowd at all, and was probably only there to represent MTV and look pretty. (She's soo pretty!)


With Mizz Nina! One of Malaysia's most famous artistes!


Spot me if you can! This was literally the only pic I could find of his performance where I was actually visible.

My experience of being a back-up singer wasn't as glamorous or exciting as I had hoped. Wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience new things this year, hence jumped at the opportunity Nick offered. But honestly? You're nothing but an invisible support net for the main singer.

Zinc later told me that the back-up singers were barely audible; only where we were harmonizing could she hear tones (no actual words) of Jeremy and I.

I know that's the point of having back-up vocalists, but I dunno, just wished people could actually hear me sing. And I'm not being completely unrealistic, there were a few lines that were only sung by the back-ups while Nick did vocal runs, which were probably not heard and may have ruined the impact we envisioned.

In conclusion? I would only ever back-up sing again if my voice would actually make a difference to the overall performance. I did enjoy the rush that comes with being on stage!


And so this wraps up my unexpectedly long post on Twisties Superstarz. I sincerely thank you if you've remained enthralled thus far!

The winner and 2nd runner up of the competition were Eddie and Avantgarde respectively, whom I both think did not deserve to win. I'm sure they're nice people, but there were much better others that far outshone them that night.

Definitely an exciting start for 2012! Am so looking forward to the rest of the year!


(Images sourced from here, here, and here.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

The story of a fat girl.

I've never been slim, skinny, or in any way small. No, this isn't one of those lines where I expect someone to disagree and go "no way, you look fine!", or some other reassuring line. I'm not saying I'm obese or handicapped because of my weight either.

Because this isn't a story of how I hate my weight. This is a story of how other people hate it.


I am inherently shy and introverted (not to be confused with being weak, mind), and hence tend to not lash out or yell back at anyone who insults me, but rather keep it tamped down within me. Imagine anger as a big fiery rotating ball of energy, being continuously forced down with a damp towel; which basically describes what I used to do on a daily basis.

Growing up, one particular family member, lets call the person Q, used to really pick on me due to my weight. I'm talking like, whenever I said or did something not to Q's liking, like being clumsy or slow, Q would call me "FAT".

Q didn't actually need a reason for the insults; Q addressed me as "FAT" the way you would call your mom "mommy". Q never relented with the insults, addressing me as "FAT" in front of other relatives, Q's friends, my friends, and in public as well.

I tolerated it for roughly 8 years, until Q left the house. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, finally managing to walk with confidence in my own home and not worry about being addressed as "FAT", and feeling mortified, incompetent, and embarrassed in my own home.


Q wasn't the only family member that had no qualms of insulting me because of my weight. My least favourite uncle, who is himself tubby, as is his wife, once went visiting with us one recent Chinese New Year. When all of us squeezed into the elevator, it started beeping (we were over the max people limit), and he boomed "Uh oh, guess the biggest sized one has to get out eh, Julia?".

Noone ever thought that I cared, just because I so rarely lashed out at Q, so everyone assumed it was ok. More family members started joining in with the habit, with me continuously gritting my teeth, and willfully ignoring that ever-growing ball of fire within me.


I wasn't safe outside of home either.

Close friends in school made jokes about my weight too. One particular close friend used to be fond of saying I was 1km wide, and whenever I ran/jumped/jogged/anything other than walked, there would be a massive earthquake. Some friends that had been over to the house and heard Q addressing me, sometimes called me "FAT" too.

One particularly sad memory I keep trying to repress is one of my old crush that I sat next to in class calling me "FAT" whenever we fought. (This was in primary school, where play fighting was still normal.)



It always stung.

Never once have I been truly able to completely brush it off. Every single time someone called me "FAT" or simply implied it, my face would turn to stone, while I forcefully doused the ball of anger.

I spent a lot of time crying alone at home those years. I had zero self-esteem or confidence. Well, just enough to stop myself from turning to anorexia or bulimia (no big struggle with the latter though, the mere thought of throwing up repulses me), but I completely shut myself off from shopping because I hated having to reach for an "L" instead of an "S".

If by this point, you are thinking of yelling at me to just go on a diet/exercise more/take slimming pills, bear in mind that I've always been trying to lose weight, just with little success. Being chubby as well as naturally big boned (aforementioned horrid uncle has once announced I was built like a man and should bulk up) also did not help matters.

It took a long time, and a difficult internal struggle for me to reach the state of self-confidence I have now. Admittedly, I am still fragile and will probably always be, but I have since forgiven those who have so blatantly hurt me in the past.


This post isn't one to celebrate me getting over those awful years of my life. This is to show how ignorant, rude people can easily destroy someone inside. Emotional abuse is not something that has gotten a lot of attention, simply because it is not easily proven. Less strongwilled people have killed themselves over continuous putdowns from others around them.

It is so easy to let an insult slip from your tongue. It only takes a second to ruin someone's day/week/month depending on their level of confidence. Those dark years of my life have among others, taught me to control my tongue. I truly believe that if you have nothing nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all.

I want to highlight the struggles faced by those who are fat, handicapped, disfigured, or in any way not compatible with how society wants us to look like. Despite our unattractiveness, we are human and have feelings too, believe it or not.

Sucks that while we are self-consciously trying to blend into society, some will loudly call out our flaws, and others will follow suit. You know that old saying? Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me? It was obviously said by someone who has it all and knows it.

Insults hurt. Its a form of abuse, and like its much more publicized counterpart physical abuse, should also be actively eradicated.



To whoever that has managed to read thus far, I heartily thank and congratulate you for putting up with such a long, emotional rant.

This was not easy to write, and I have wavered over publishing it or not. However, I have grown stronger, but people have not become any less ignorant. Thus, this was meant to be an open message to everyone out there.

The next time you call someone fat/ugly/poor/etc albeit not intending to hurt them, unless that someone is extremely close to you and knows without a shred of doubt that you're joking, you will slowly destroy them.
  


"By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever hurt his stomach." - Winston Churchill.




Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A fresh start.


Its 2012!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Ahem. I am completely aware that it is already the 4th of January and the new year bubbliness and hopefulness is wearing thin all around, as we get back to real life after the ball drops. Not that Malaysians are in the same time zone as the US, or that I was actually at Times Square, but I digress.

This new year's eve, I celebrated at home. I ate ice cream and watched a happy movie, Shrek 2 (my fav Shrek movie!) with the family.

Sounds boring huh. I would like to say that the only reason I stayed in was because earlier that day, I was 2 hours away from home, attending my great grandmother's funeral. God bless her, may she rest in peace. 

But anyway, it meant that I was only home by 7pm. Roads to the city centre were starting to pile up, and most people were already at or near to their party destinations. Meaning getting to wherever my friends were celebrating the new year would be an unpleasant experience for the impatient driver, aka me.

However, as it turned out, my friends somehow all individually opted to stay home for new year's eve. I mean, we're not the "party people" that others are, and hey by no indication does this mean we are boring even though we probably are, but this was new years eve, which is the time to party!

But no, they remained home. So with the lack of an agenda, so did I. And so ushered in the new year playing minesweeper on my iPhone. Not such a great start huh.


But I am hopeful for greater things to come this year. Even though I'm not the type that makes new years resolutions, I do intend on working harder on my sorely neglected blog this year.

I know its not glitzy or glamorous, but its my precious baby; where I can truly let my words run freely. I rarely blog because well, I need a spur of inspiration for ideas to flow. However, I aim to post something at least once a week this year.

Time to do what I love the most more : write.

I hope whoever reading this, will have an inspired and productive 2012! I love my non-existent readers. Yeay.
 

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