read my mind

Saturday, April 3

I'm trapped in a maze of books and papers.

I must write my path out of the maze. Or further in.

Thursday, March 18

The sad thing, I suppose, is that every action is always triggered by another event. We are never truly original, or originary in that sense. But I don't think it means that we should feel bad about only doing something because we are "inspired" by something else (or maybe this is to assuage my guilt).

Apologies for the randomness.

My supervisor, I have not noted here, is Prof. Ryan Bishop. Seriously, it's not 'cause we share the same first name, but I bow before his awesomeness. I don't think what I've done so far has lived up to his expectations (not that I think he has that much expectation of me), but I'm pretty inspired after this last consult with him. I just hope that inspiration stays long enough.

Catch the flame before it dies.

Monday, March 15

Sigh. Nothing much written since the last entry.

Strange how sometimes when you’re a little (or maybe a lot) emotional a stray thought pops into your mind that has nothing to do with why you’re feeling that way (or maybe it’s just me that can get distracted by my own thoughts). I asked myself recently, during one of these experiences, isn’t there something that I can take from this into my thesis?

My thesis hardly claims to be an objective paper; we all know no such thing exists. So why can’t I seem to direct this emotional energy towards it?

The largest writer’s block couldn’t have chosen a worse time to befall me.

(Also, MacJournal is telling me my Blogger password is wrong. MacJournal AND/OR Blogger Fail.)

Sunday, March 7

What to do when you’re in school to write your thesis? Blog, of course.

I think I can say I’m moving along, even if it’s at a snail’s pace. The thing I’m worried about now is how much words I can dedicate to one point. Strangely, even though I’m most verbose when I talk about something, I can’t translate that verbosity into writing. I really think I don’t have a very natural talent with language.

wo(men) yesterday was excellent; a truthful portrayal of the kinds of dystopian lives Singaporeans live... again, I’m coming up short with more words to describe it. See? But no, the play was great, and I have no more words to say about it.

Saturday, March 6

Trying out my new MacJournal software instead of writing my thesis. Now I’m worried that The Time Traveler’s Wife actually might yield less material to talk about than Her Fearful Symmetry! So much for promises made earlier this week. Bleh. Anyway, sorry to burst “Bernana’s” bubble, but no more serialised novel... I’m just going to try writing whatever I can, whether it belongs in the first chapter or not. Fingers crossed!

Today is a Saturday. Today I will go back to school for a meeting about Freud and Lacan. Yay. After which, I will go watch the play wo(men) which is the opener for NUS Arts Fest, which Yonghui is slogging away for. Yay (watching the play, not Yonghui slogging away). After that, it’s time to hit the books again (bang bang) and try to write something that’s actually substantial. Yay. Bleh.

Monday, March 1

The writing of Chapter One will take place this first week of March. Time travel and the ghost. Make it work!

Thursday, February 25

When I was young, "earth" and "world" meant virtually the same thing.

Sunday, February 21

Haven't blogged in three weeks, and now it's already the end of the mid-semester break. From here on out, it's full steam ahead. Or at least I hope so.

Moving closer to graduation, I'm beginning to wonder what I can do after I graduate. I've realised that I actually don't mind continuing to study literature, it's not just something I'm merely taking to get a degree. The power of text to touch you in so many ways is astounding to me; I'm always in search of that perfect way of encapsulating emotions. Yet I often find myself not being the most articulate person in the world; I'm sure many of my friends can attest to that. But maybe it's my difficulty in expressing myself that allows me to see the beauty of language. But I digress.

Perhaps I could work in a bookstore or a library. Perhaps I could move on to take my masters, then doctorate in literature, teach after that. Or I could write. What would I write? Maybe I should focus on writing and completing my thesis for now.

Sunday, January 31

Reading up for my thesis led me to this passage by logotherapist Dr. Viktor E. Frankl,

Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. . . . I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, "What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?" "Oh," he said," "for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!" Whereupon I replied, "You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering--to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her." He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left my office. (135)

Saturday, January 30

An old haunt is so named because for us, the place is always haunted by the ghosts of our past: what we might have done or said there, even if we've already forgotten.

Saturday, January 23

I realise, that in order to write about The Time Traveler's Wife, I'm going to have to figure out how to write the mechanics of time travel without having it confuse. Oh bother. I should ask Audrey Niffenegger how to do that...

Friday, January 22

This writer's block, it's weighing down on me. Strange how you can say so much about something, but when it comes to writing it down, nothing sensible comes, just nonsense things. But no worries, I'm making some progress. I've actually managed to email Audrey Niffenegger to ask if I could ask some questions about her novels! Granted that an author isn't always the first and best person to talk about their own books, but I still feel her power in shaping my impressions.

It takes some time, but it'll all be okay.

Sunday, January 10

Mea culpa. So I've always had this terrible, terrible habit of abandoning this old, faithful blog, leaving it to collect pixel dust. I never know what it is exactly that brings me back; maybe it's the fact that I stubbornly leave the blog address in my MSN nick, misleading friends to believe I've actually kept it going somehow. But no excuses, I'm here now and should hopefully be posting till the next time I drop off the radar again. Thought I'd post a little quote from one of my new favourite books:

"'Being in love is . . . anxious,' he said. 'Wanting to please, worrying that she will see me as I really am. But wanting to be known. That is . . . you're naked, moaning in the dark, no dignity at all . . . I wanted her to see me and to love me even though she knew everything I am, and I knew her. Now she's gone, and my knowledge is incomplete.'"
Her Fearful Symmetry, Niffenegger 267.

Well. Till next time.

Tuesday, October 13

Audrey Niffenegger, you've stolen my heart again.

Tuesday, September 1

I drink green tea when:

- I feel fat.
- I feel tired.
- I'm eating at Sushi Tei.
- (bottled and sweetened) people are drinking alcoholic stuff.

Friday, June 26

I really need the first hour of the 26th of June to have been the only bad hour of the day. Please. Give me a good day.

Friday, June 5

2009 seems to be the year of belated birthdays, I don't know why.

I recall something about it being inauspicious to celebrate your birthday belatedly (along with the 'you shouldn't cut your own cake' superstition), but to be honest, it's kind of nice, because you aren't really expecting it anymore, and it turns your birthday into something of a festival, with celebrations lasting more than one single day. Maybe one day isn't enough to really be dedicated to celebrating you and making you feel loved. Maybe we just don't get enough love all year round.

Disclaimer: This blog post is in no way aimed at excusing my own lapse in celebrating people's birthdays.

Thursday, June 4

I think I'm playing too many games.

In the past week or so, I've bought three new games, Peggle, Braid and The Sims 3, and I wonder if I've simply overloaded myself with learning game strategies and processing brainpower.

Peggle, which I have now on my iPod, is this kind of pachinko-like game where a sound knowledge in physics should help you get through most of the rounds; you fire a ball into the board, trying to hit as many orange pegs as possible. For every 5 rounds you get a different 'mentor' character who has a super power that helps you get to your goal faster! Peggle is insanely happy, with rainbows and a unicorn for a lead figure, but what seals the deal is that when you've hit your last orange peg, 'Ode to Joy' is sung out in a choral manner. It's so addictive! I tried the demo for the computer before deciding to spend just a fraction of the PC/Mac version's price for the iPod version.

I've forgotten how I discovered Braid, but this game is so interesting. It's somewhat a parody of the Super Mario franchise, but so much more. It's a typical side-scroller game, except for one thing: you get to control time. In each world you play you wield a different power, but you always get to rewind time so that you can 'un-die' or something even more integral to the solving of the puzzle. The ending of this game is wicked. This is a game for adults because it calls into question not only the genre of the video game, but also our fallibility, our desire to rewind time to change the past. If you have about S$20, some time and an open mind to spare, please try Braid!

The Sims 3 is my most recent acquisition. I'm not sure what to think of it! I think I'm not such a great game-player, so I'm unable to actually move beyond caring for basic needs. Perhaps I'll get better at managing my Sims (or find a couple of cheats along the way).

I know my life sounds frivolous, but I hope it means something in the end.

Edit: Scratch that. My life doesn't sound frivolous; it sounds GEEKY.

Thursday, May 28

I've been tagged by Ruth, and I know I should blog more often, so here it is. I don't know if this will help you know me better, but I just hope it's a fun read!

Do you eat a lot of fast food?

Not really; I used to eat more in the past though. Now I cook whatever I have in the kitchen. Which can be as unhealthy as fast food!

Besides your mouth, where is your favorite spot to get kissed?

Why does this question assume that people like to be kissed on the mouth? But anyway, I don't know... maybe the forehead?

Were you happy when you woke up today?

Hmm, like Ruth I think happiness is kind of hard to express. But, no I had nowhere to rush to or nothing to get done quickly, so yes, you could say so.

How about now?

Yes. :)

Have you ever streaked?

I have a problem with exposing myself in public. Even showing people my underwear when my T-shirt rides upwards is a nightmare for me. I keep pulling it down even though I'm safely covered.

Are you an understanding person?

I'd like to think I am. But maybe because I share little of myself to others, they feel no need to pour their woes to me. Not that I won't listen.

Do you eat candy on a daily basis?

Yes. Chocolate. If I can help it I try to skip it of course! But chocolate makes the world go round.

Does it make you happy to get letters?

As long as it's not something I'd consider spam! If people actually bother to get your address and go through the whole process of writing and pasting stamps and dropping it off in the mailbox, a simple SMS just cannot compare. A pity I'm guilty of short, curt messages that rely on your being concise, instead of wordy, hopefully interesting and sincere phrases on the page. Can I just say my handwriting is why I don't like to write for others to read? Haha.

Do raisins belong in cookies?

Erm, no. I've only just begun liking raisins recently, so give me time! But I'm coming round to the idea that you can have fruits in baked goods.

What’s your screen name?

"meisryan". It's a name I gave myself in JC, when a choir friend called himself "notryan". It's stuck ever since, and yes, I am aware that it is not grammatically correct.

Walking into a party, what’s the first thing you notice?

Probably the people. I need to look for the people I know. I will die inside if I have no one I can talk to.

Kiss on the first date?

I don't know, again. Haha. I never kissed on my first dates.

What’s one thing you’ve learned from a good friendship gone bad?

To take responsibility and work to make things right, especially if it's a friendship I want to keep. And if it's a good one...

Would you ever donate blood?

I have, once! But I'm a hypochondriac, and am always worried I'll pass some undetected sicknesses or something.

Have you ever felt replaced?


Are there deerheads covering any walls in your house?

No but I remember there used to be this sheepskin rug when I was much younger. It was pretty rough though. I don't recall if I liked it or not. Now, I wouldn't buy sheepskin, or rugs for that matter.

Are you good at telling jokes?

Awful, awful. I always tell them out of order and leave out the clues until it's too late, such that when I mention them it's obvious they're important. My best jokes are when I say something funny off the cuff. Doesn't happen too often though.

Have you ever driven without a license?

Nope, I've never driven before. I wonder if I'd be good at it, but am always afraid I will cause some accident.

Do you wish you had smaller feet?

Nope. You know what they say about men and the size of their feet.

Have you ever had a best friend who was of the opposite sex?

Yes. Why the hell not? :)

When ordering sushi, what do you get?

I eat the boring stuff, and have never touched sashimi. But today I tried the Salmon Mentaiyaki Nigiri and I loved it!

Do you write in cursive or in print?

It's hard to tell if my handwriting is cursive or in print. It looks like a child's handwriting. Wait, scratch that. It looks worse. On a random note, I've tried writing with my left hand, hoping it makes me more creative.

Who was the last person you sat next to?

Daniel, in his car.

What were you doing at 10 am?

Brushing my teeth.

Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?

I have a single bed. But I don't think I'm too picky.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

I'd like to be taller. I'd like to be able to eat more healthily. But, if I could really change something about myself it wouldn't be any of these. I would like, ultimately, to be a genuinely kinder person. I think the world needs kindness.

Do you know how to play poker?

I don't know how to play poker. I don't think I'd be good at it anyway. I don't have a poker-face. And I'm also bad with surprises. I have to apologise here to Joie and Daniel for ruining your birthday surprises.

I am going to tag:

Yonghui, if you have the time! Hang in there with work okay! And take care of yourself (I sound like the worried parent)!
Daniel, if you don't already have something to blog about!
Guowei, if you still come here and have time after your submission, haha.

I don't know who else reads, so if you found the questions interesting like I did, do it and let me know! :)

Monday, May 25

As mentioned before, I've decided to start reading the books I've accumulated but haven't had the time to touch during semester. But after finishing Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (which is an amazing read by the way), I didn't know whether I wanted to read a new book or to revisit one I've already read before.

I think rereading is very important, not just because I'm a literature major, but because you're turned onto how the writer plots and places clues along the way that you'd just thought was a minor point during the first read. It is very elucidating, but also painfully real at times. Case in point: the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset screening at Ritchell's house last Wednesday. There were so many more things I noticed as compared to the previous times I'd been watching them, when I was probably more fond of the premise of the movies than what went on within. Maybe it's that our profs' work has paid off, but we were discussing and really getting into the meat of the movies, further than I'd gone. Or maybe it's just the right moment for me to have come to the films again. It could have been the company too, probing and exchanging views. Who's the romantic, who's the cynic? As long as we don't impose.

While I don't mind revisiting something I've enjoyed before (and many people can attest to this), I have to say that spoilers really, really don't fly with me (as before, heh). I even refrained from looking at the blurb of Never Let Me Go before I got started. And perhaps now I can explain why. For me, texts and films and shows are experiences, and with everything, you only get a first time once. Sure you can go back again and again, but you can never just go back with a complete amnesia, a tabula rasa of that book or movie. I'd wished for some kind of selective amnesia, so that I could go back and watch Friends all over again, without having read somewhere else about who got together, who did what and how it all ended. It's a good thing, that we forget sometimes. Maybe we forget just so our lives won't be a constant rerun of "been there, done that"; we forget in order to remember.

Being a literature major makes me spout words. Whether these words mean anything is another matter.