A few months ago, I started using memory foam pillows. They are said to help us sleep better, correct our posture, and hence lead to better energy levels and mental focus — if I remember the label on the packaging correctly. Oh dear this sentence is contradicting. I am supposed to have better focus mentally and yet I doubt my ability to recall correctly. Haha.
But I liked them and found them comfortable so went out and got another two for my parents. Speaking of them, now I remember I wanted to discuss a holiday together with my mom. I don’t remember the last time I went on a proper holiday with them…it must have been when I was still a child. Looks like it’s time to make some memories again with them.
It’s already the 1st of November on my part of the world. Time surely flies…and my memory of starting this blog in May is still fresh and this year has felt pretty whirlwind with so many things to savor and experience.
I wish everyone an awesome final two months of 2014. Let’s make every moment count so at the end of it we can have some sweet, gratifying memories.
This post is part of SoCS:
This prompt is quite difficult for me to write on because I don’t celebrate Halloween. But I remember having fun trying on funny Halloween hats at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park with my friend Sarah when we traveled to that country during Halloween season 6 years ago. Too bad the photos are on my old laptop. I thought I looked pretty good and interesting with a tall, green coloured witch hat with green-colored snakes hanging all over it.
Back to the prompt–so I can pretend I have run out of candy, but for the kids to scare me, I can’t imagine what they can possibly do. Unless they are wunderkinder who can come up with some realistic sound effects of some supernatural beings, or impersonate my dead relatives really really well.
But I have a feeling they could easily succeed at annoying me, especially if they are not that cute, and if they ring my doorbell at my down time.
And wait, is Halloween a day where children have a legitimate excuse to be rude and annoying? Hmm. Anyway, to those of you who are celebrating, Happy Halloween!
Tears shed in the dark of night
But that’s alright
As fleeting as the illumination that you get
When the door of the fridge is opened by the tempted
And the emotionally challenged
Are the trials and tribulations
Embrace the darkest nights
For light comes without fail
God has made it such
That it is dawn that breaks
Not your spirit.
I am a tropical girl, a true blue one. I sat down to write this post only after I successfully adjusted the air conditioning temperature in the hall and rooms of this serviced apartment my family and I are staying tonight to 29 degree Celcius. Shh I hope no one noticed.
2. Education degrees
My mom obtained her Masters degree in education when she was well over 60 years old, an endeavour she embarked on just because she felt she had too much free time on her hands. It was quite sweet to see how my dad would sometimes send her to class and then sit down for a drink at the university’s cafeteria to wait for her. Incidentally, my mom’s Masters degree is from the very university where she and my dad met. Hmm I have nothing else to say about degrees…except that I have observed that having a degree is just a ticket that helps to open doors. The rest is still up to us as success is anything but automatic, even for degree holders — be they Bachelors, Masters, or PhDs. Who are we kidding anyway? Everyone knows some of the most successful people in the world are college dropouts.
3. The third degree
Outside of the police interrogation room, or formal investigations, the third degree, in my opinion, occurs only when there are control and insecurity issues involved. Ideally words and questions should be used appropriately and not too liberally. Yes even as someone who enjoys writing, and whose day job involves a great deal of writing — I swear by the economy of words.
So that brings me to the end of this post 🙂 Toodle-oo before this gets too wordy!
This post is part of SoCS:
“Maria! I grew up watching you sing, dance on the hills, gaze into the eyes of the handsome Captain Von Trapp, and become an instant mother to the seven beautiful Von Trapp children!”
I am excited beyond words to live my favourite childhood scenes. The Von Trapp residence is a mammoth palace, where do I start exploring? Maria is kind enough to take me on a tour through the palatial place, showing me the room where she sang “My Favourite Things” – oh how I remember those curtains she used to make the children’s clothing for their outdoor trip!
Since I have only one day in the Sound of Music, she asks me which scene I would like to live. I choose the one where she sings “The Sound of Music” at the mountainside she grew up, before leaving her old life to become a governess to the Von Trapp children. What a delight to discover that we sing in the same key, so we both walk and run on the grass, throw pebbles into the stream, stretch our arms wide, look to the sky, and sing in perfect harmony.
The only time left for me to meet the children and the Captain is dinner, so I join them before returning to my life. How unfortunate that speaking is not allowed while eating,so there’s not much conversation, only prim and proper, restrained behavior.
I am not sure what the proper etiquette is, so I merely give everyone a polite bow before leaving.
I discovered this song five years ago when I was a freelance copywriter, working from home (and other favourite spots) to many tunes. It has remained one of my favourite songs till this day.
1.24 am now and I am wide awake–no thanks to the Starbucks Caramel Macchiato and my 45-minute run at 10 pm, I guess.
Road trip up north
Me and my newly discovered self
A work in progress trying not to put life on hold
Wistful at the old, hopeful for the new
The present hanging in attempted balance
Awkward and uncertain, down the decided yet unfamiliar path
Layers of doubt shed along the way
Till I got to my core
And now I am whole
And you, I will always remember.
Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions
Here I am today
In my own little pad
Making my living doing what I love.
So this is my shape today
A shape full of hope
Of some dreams that have come to pass
So this is why I believe
To a good extent we can
See the shape of things to come
Envision, predict, foresee
Draw the blueprint
With the power of our dreams
And the hard work that follows the dreams
Egged on by the heart’s desires
The reasons to jump out of bed every morning
Knowing that every single day
The future is taking shape.
If the present is like clay
Take it, mould it, shape it well
Because every day
Every thing we do
Goes into the shape of things to come.
I want mine to be all pretty and lovely
Jewel encrusted, teeming with life and laughter
Solid like a century-old oak tree
Yet fluid like water
Full of freedom like leaves that dance all they like in the wind
And fall to the ground
Only when their service to nature
This post is part of SoCS:
Head of dark, thick hair
Curly lashes flutter like butterfly wings
Round eyes twinkling like stars
She’s just learning to speak
And making demands of me!
“Grandpa, make sure you love me lots
And most of all.”
What a mammoth expectation
But it feels as light as
Her tiny weight
As she bounces on my lap.
I nod agreeably, conspiratorially
And say yes, indeed
I would love her
More than the rest.
My daughter’s daughter
My second chance to love
It is said that some people we meet through the course of our lives end up leaving marks that influence us and the things we do.
I am blessed to have been given these three pieces of advice–two from two English teachers, one from a senior journalist at a mainstream newspaper I was stringing with after my graduation.
1. Advice on widening my vocabulary and using words appropriately
This I learnt from the late Mr. Yeap, an elderly English language teacher I went to for extra tuition to prepare for my 1119 English examination while sitting for the Malaysian equivalent of the O Levels. Mr. Yeap taught his students to read newspaper and magazine articles, and while at it, to highlight words we did not understand. Then we were to look the the words up in the dictionary one by one. And instead of bookishly memorizing the meaning of the words, we were to write them on a piece of flash card each, and on the other side of the card, the sentences in which we originally found them. This way, referring to the context not only helped us to recall the meaning of the word, it also ensured we would use the word appropriately. To this day I remember learning the word ‘verve’, as in ‘She wears the shirt with verve.’
And my brother had a box full of those neatly written flash cards! Needless to say, he writes very well.
2. Show, not tell
This was an advice given by my English language and debate teacher in high school, also in the year I was preparing for the O Level equivalent examination. Mr. Calvin Leong was a young teacher in his twenties and was clearly not impressed with some bombastic words I had used in some of my essays–hence the advice to ‘show and not tell’ in my writing. I must agree that a piece of writing is more engaging when the writer uses common words to paint a clear picture for the reader’s imagination. For example, compare “He is incensed” with “He glares sharply at me while his chest seems to be rising and falling rapidly.”
And this leads to the third and last piece of advice I will always remember…
3. Write to express, not to impress
This I learnt from Fred, a senior journalist at the News Straits Times where I was stringing after my graduation. If I remember correctly, he told me that when I complained to him about how difficult it was to write a business piece after attending an event where some big shot economist from the World Bank was the key note speaker. I did submit my article in the end but I don’t remember it being published. Ouch. But at least the ordeal gained me a gem of an advice that I will remember forever!
I think Mr. Yeap especially would have been proud of the fact that I am still writing, even if it’s just on a blog to amuse myself 🙂
Yesterday a colleague brought a huge moist chocolate cake he had baked to work and offered delicious slices to everyone in the department. In response to my compliment he said something which I thought would make a perfect one liner for today, especially coming from a guy in response to a girl who has yet to learn how to operate her oven:
“Baking is like breathing, to me.”
This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday: