Yeah, I know, kinda late for that.
2010 is coming real soon. That was quick. I barely even noticed. How was 2009? (in no particular order now,)
1. I graduated!
Woo hoo! It was so bittersweet. Funnily enough I enjoyed the last few days of school the most though. You didn’t know what you got till it’s nearly gone. Or maybe it was just the release of submitting all your projects, and realizing there were no more obligations to fulfill.
When we say candid, we really mean candid.
2. I inspired myself to climb my own Everest.
I have a lot of respect for the NATAS SWET team. In May 2009, they reached the top of the world. And in January 2009, we went up the top of Singapore to interview and film these ladies. It’s not easy to handle climbing mountains, with the difficult terrain, breathing problems, strenuous physical climbing, living in Singapore is just a piece of cake. Why are we moaning about living in our own creature comforts then?
Stupid video still won’t load. Youtube, cannot, vimeo cannot, facebook cannot, every other video-sharing website also cannot.
3. I bought my first branded bag.
Heh! I really thought long and hard about what to get! I didn’t want something that was commonly seen, and yet I wanted something that is really very nice that I loved very much.
Coach may not be one of the most ‘prestigious’ brands in Singaporean society, but who here has an Amanda satin bag/pouch? It’s one of the best designs from Coach, I feel.
4. I embarked on a university path.
And met new friends. And kept telling the people who’ve graduated:
“You know we’re a RECORD!”
“What’s the first 3 letters of record?”
(R E C…)
“That’s me! What’s the last 3 letters?”
(O R D?)
5. My first foray into modeling
It began with a friendship to Candice, an opportunity to make up and have some photographs for keepsakes.
It somehow evolved, and I went on to more and more projects.
6. I moved.
From blogger to wordpress, that is. I finally left springintosummer and embraced FoxyLove, by fariwu. Blogger was great for just a blog, but I wanted more, I wanted a full website with pages of content. Moving was inevitable.
7. I worked for a hundred thousand jobs
Or at least, what felt like it. I worked for various different companies, for various different jobs scopes, and met various different people. There were times when I worked just a couple of days, and there were times when I worked for months, to the point of working 13 hour shifts. All part of life’s journey, rich or shitty, you decide.
8. I lost a shitload of money.
True, you’re always gaining and losing money here and there, but this was the first time I lost a few thousand… on paper and in person. Ouch. Now that’s pain.
9. I shot an embalmer
Not literally with a gun, but with a video camera. I witnessed first hand how an embalmer does his work of cutting up people, taking out their innards, pumping in the chemicals, sewing up the body, and the final steps of putting it to a casket. It was a humbling experience, and it was rather painful to witness. We learnt to respect him and what he had to tolerate everyday of his life: putting himself in a situation that no one would ordinarily ever dare to do. In the days that followed, the images and the smell of the chemicals dominated my mind.
I smell death now, everywhere. The smell of death, and the smell of chemicals. My Christmas wishlist comprises of perfume. Or anything that gets this smell away. You know you’re going crazy when you begin to smell the stench of death everywhere you go.
Wrote this about a year ago, days after the shoot. In the days after that, the smell was kind of plaguing everything. Thankfully, I don’t smell it anymore.
And now… it’s almost 2010! I have no resolutions, and never thought of making any. Just live life as per normal, and move on to bigger and better things. After all, a new year is a fresh new clean start.
See you next year!
Who compiled a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly in Asia? CNN did!
They sought out the people in Asia who influenced their respective countries (bonus points if their news crossed borders). Some are truly noteworthy, but others…. are so cringeworthy!
The Good –
Vo Trong Nghia (Vietnam):
An architect who uses bamboo as part of his building materials. Hmm, interesting. He builds modern architecture using bamboo (in case you didn’t get that part), and his eco-friendly green architecture has brought him 2 prizes at an International Architecture Awards. Green has never been such a cool shade (WAHAHAHA I LIKE THAT. I TOTALLY MADE IT UP MYSELF OKAY).
Ratan Tata (India):
Deemed “Role model for the price conscious”, this 71-year-old from Tata Motors brought about the world’s cheapest car at 100,000 rupees (about S$2989, give or take). Not only that, he’s unveiled a Swach (means clean in Hindi) water filter for the poor rural households. It uses “ash from rice milling to filter out bacteria”. I would LOVE to see how that works, mainly cause I don’t quite understand how it could possibly work. Tata’s projects revolve around cost-effective and affordable devices targeting the lower income market. Everyone loves having people like him, economic recession or no. Everyone loves saving money, don’t they?
Efren Penaflorida (Phillipines [sp]):
HEH. CNN SPELLING FAIL. PHILIPPINES ALSO DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL!
Proof here -
His name is Florida? Anyway, dubious name aside, this guy travels around the poorest areas with his pushcart, teaching the poor kids English, Math and Science. Sooo sweet! I first thought his pushcart must hold ice cream or something, which is how he lures the children into coming for ‘class’, but the pushcart actually holds stuff like books and pens and notes for his mobile classroom. He was given $100,000 by CNN and the title of 2009 Hero of the Year. By the way, his name is really Efren Penaflorida Jr., his father’s name is Efren Penaflorida Sr. CNN, can you like, at least get his name right?
Douglas Maclagan (Hong Kong):
In Nepal 14 years ago, a Nepalese mother, desperate for help, handed him her dying baby girl. The girl died in his arms. OH MY GOD. He decided from that moment that he was going to commit himself to saving the children in Nepal. Now sheltering these children from beatings, raids, and brothels, he also provides programs for healthcare, education and social opportunities for these kids. Child Welfare advocates, for the win!
The Singaporean -
APEC 2009 organizers (YAY):
Efficiency win! Singapore reinforces her image once again of being one of the most clean and efficient countries, and plays host to the hundreds of foreigners who experienced what it’s like to be in Singapore.
Mas Selamat (WAHAHA):
The one guy every NS man dreams of kicking. After escaping from prison in 2008, every NS guy was pulled from their warm beds to hunt down the ever-elusive Mas in the cold, wet, dirty, and sparse forests of Singapore. And as it turns out, he was hiding in Malaysia. Guess that brings “Selamat Datang ke Malaysia!” to a whole different level.
The women of AWARE (huh? Why??):
Women who bickered on a daytime television show. Oh, sorreh. It’s IRL (in real life). We didn’t particularly learn anything, except that women can’t seem to get along with each other. Oh, and the catchphrase “Shut up and sit down” isn’t all that catchy.
Ris Low (WTF!!!):
Downfall of a beauty queen spread through the newspapers life wildfire. It’s like a car accident: you refuse to look but you look anyway. But because she coined a word, CNN awards her with the title of Catchphrase Queen. Thank god the Intellectual Property Law would not allow her to trademark it. FYI, IPL doesn’t allow a single word to be trademarked. You can trademark a phrase, like Just Do It, but you can’t trademark a single word.
So… THAT’s the top representatives from Singapore? SO SHAMEFUL! The only things we’re apparently now famous for is the inability to settle conflict in a civilized manner, and the inability to speak proper English. Even our campaigns are screwed up! “Speak GOOD English”. Isn’t it “Speak PROPER English”? English FAIL. Singlish… WIN. But do we REALLY want to be known and famous for our impertinent and blatant disregard when it comes to language? Campaigns and interviews are different from everyday language, you know that there is a higher expectation to uphold a certain amount of class and dignity, than to dissolve into a myriad of Singlish. Okay, granted, CNN’s list also included scandalized people like Andy Lau and Noriko Sakai, but doesn’t Singapore have more noteworthy people than what’s on the list?
What about them? Huh? HUH?
I’m just irritated that their accomplishments were so overshadowed. Well, it’s true they accomplished more than ol’ Ris Low and the whole AWARE team put together, but I guess this list is apparently about those who are the most ‘influential’ to the people. And that boils down to what the media reports and doesn’t report. And the media has successfully put down the news and saga of the women at AWARE and Ris Low as the top stories, perhaps second only to Mas Selamat. Agenda setting… FAIL? Fail for Singapore, WIN for Ris Low. Must be shiok for her. Accomplish nothing, but get exactly what she wants. The local media gives half a page to Ris’ court dealings in the Home section. That’s the agenda they prefer to blow up. It’s true, the media really does prefer to report what is the public’s interest, not what’s truly in the interest of the public. There is a difference, mind you.
I question CNN’s highly questionable list. I still can’t get over the whole Philippines misspelling, and gross error of Efren Jr’s name. For such a creditable news network like CNN? Disappointing.