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Category Archives: Dailies

Decisions, Decisions…


Ajahn Brahm (You can Google him up if you want, he’s a cool Theravada monk from Perth, Australia) once said in one of his teaching sessions that there’s no such things as bad decisions or wrong decisions. A Buddhist (or at least people who believe in reincarnation like yours truly) can be born again, so you can get your decision right in your next life. That is simple, why worry about making bad decisions. Later in that very session, he said something similar to this, “A decision is never wrong when it’s made out of a well mind”.

I was editing my photos on my second to last night in Bangkok in a dorm shared with 4 other females (one of them was an Australian which I had dinner with). I was somewhat frustrated to the quality of the Floating Market photos that I took earlier that day. And bang, suddenly that very Ajahn Brahm’s teaching about how to make a decision appeared in my mind, right down to his Australian/British accents

Bridge 045 editted.

The Bangkok trip was planned 35 hours before the ETD. Despite what my girlfriends and fiance told me (not to go), I walked down to the ATM to pay my plane ticket (expensive despite using the budget airline mind you), paid the daily tour packages with my paypal, and told my fiance and girlfriends to go some place else and mind anyone’s business but mine. (Oh usually as a very-well-planned-traveler-it-annoys-my-fiance-and-my-family-so-much I book ticket and hotels way ahead of the travel date and I have a not-so-firm itinerary so I can wander around the village/the city I’m in)

Was I in my well mind? No. I was not. I was mad and I was upset and I had not slept for days and all I could think of was whether or not I had a photo assignment, I had to travel. Then Bangkok came to mind. Why Bangkok, you asked? No idea. I had no idea why I decided to fly to Bangkok (but maybe the cheap living cost there was the main idea).

Before flying to Bangkok there were lots of yelling to friends and fiance (see above). I told them I wanted an adventure hence the back-packing with a very heavy Nikon camera and 2 lenses. Out of his worry, the fiance booked me a room in a 4-star hotel. That also produced another series of screaming (especially from HIS SIDE after buying the room for 3 nights for me and knowing that I stayed in Bangkok for way more than 3 nights). One of the girlfriends offered to accompany me in Bangkok several days after my arrival, but I didn’t want to have any of that.

I flew to Bangkok, alone. Traveling with little cash and a debit card (I didn’t want to shop I just wanted to take photos anyways, right?) and a pledge not to spend more than USD 12 per day for meal. I promised those 3 people that I would keep in touch, so I had no choice but spending almost 500 THB for phone and Blackberry Service.

I didn’t say it’s not fun. It’s totally the opposite of not fun. The trip had 91% fun and 9% un-coolness (and thank God, I got a photo assignment once I was there). But that very night in my hostel room when suddenly Ajahn Bhram’s voice appeared in my head, I knew the decision of traveling to Bangkok was not a good decision. It was an impulsive decision that has led me to an adventure (just like what I had expected before), but not a safe one.

Next time (at least later when I’m born again), I’ll make better adventures and better decisions.

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SELF PORTRAIT


I have taken so many pictures of myself. I took a picture of myself after coming home from a party. If the make up still looked fresh then doubtless it would be my latest Facebook and/or BBM profile picture. If the make up had already faded, then I would call my dermatologist friend and complained about my oily skin (sigh) Those pictures however are not self-portraits, those are proofs of Narcissism.

Then I read about self portrait. And literally, on Christmas eve, ten minutes after reading that article, I decided to give it a try. How difficult is it anyway? Like I said, I have taken a lot of pictures of myself. So there I was, taking out the tripod, picking up which cameras to use, making a concept of the self portrait photo session, taking out clothes to wear.

Now, more than 24 hour after my first trial of self portrait photography I can say that although intriguing and fun, it’s far from easy. I clicked so many (too many?) shots and only get a few good pictures.

Here are ones of them. Which one do you like?

Image

Mirror image.

I can't be without my earrings

Ashtanga yoga

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Dailies, Photography

 

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10 Things I'm Certain Of


Sunsets Sunrise

I’m certain that there are more of uncertainties in life than certainties in life.
I bet there are millions of uncertainties in life, but I can only find like a hundred or so certainties.

Here are 10 of them :

1. I’m certain that sun sets in the west and rises in the east.
It’s there in the encyclopedia, in the science book, in wikipedia, and here in my blog.

2. I’m certain that being too careful in setting the aperture and the speed in your DSLR camera will just a waste of time and you’ll lose THE moment.
My advice : set it in automatic setting and click away

3. I’m certain that scatting (as in jazz) can only be done by a very few singers in the world. Ms. Ella Fitzgerald is one of them..

4. I’m certain that driving an automatic transmission car can be done in using 1 foot only

5. I’m certain that Ubud, Bali is the place to go if you want to be away from the city life.
Ask Liz Gilbert (whose book, btw, I haven’t finished reading)

6. I’m certain that Frank Sinatra has the smoothest voice in history.
Ask your dad.

7. I’m certain that the hardest problem is that the one one is having that moment.

8. I’m certain that things will always pass, including that hardest problem one is facing.

9. I’m certain that putting on night cream is one of the boring things in life.
Ask me (but please don’t tell my dermatologist friend)

10. I’m certain that life is awesome.

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Dailies

 

Casablanca (1942) : As Time Goes By


When you're watching a movie produced by Warner Bros, do you notice the melody plays as Warner Bros logo appears on the screen? Yes, those 13 notes belong to As Time Goes By. The main soundtrack from the film Casablanca.

Casablanca Poster

As time goes by, when I'm asked what's my favorite old movie I always reply -not The Sound of Music given how musical I am -, "Casablanca". It was made in 1942 with great stars like Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.

Basically it is a normal romantic film. What makes it so extra-ordinary is the ending. It doesn't have a usual happy ending a la current Hollywood films. It makes the film is even more 'real'.

Setting in Casablanca in 1941 with NAZIS, Italian and Vichy French soldiers, we get a war-film impression. But with the bar and the people who are at the bar (may it be the singers, the bartender, Sam the pianist) and the jokes makes the military people less frightening. Come Ilsa Lund as Rick's old lover in Paris onto the screen, and I'm in love with the film. And alas that beautiful woman is married to the Hungarian activist.

The lines in this film, some of them are touching ("I wish I didn't love you so much"), some of them are darn funny ("Ten watch"), but most of them are smart – you have to watch it, really.

Anyways, I am so impressed that a man can fly to a safer place than Casablanca with the woman he was once in love, but then he'd rather stay in Casablanca and let the woman's husband fly with her. The line in this scene is one of my favorite lines ever, "If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life." I personally think this scene makes this film great.

Note : Just in case you're renting this film, beside popcorn please prepare a box of tissue.

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Dailies, Uncategorized

 

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Quotes from How I Met Your Mother Season 1


Future Ted: Kids, I’m going to tell you an incredible story. The story of how I met your mother
(Pilot, S01e01)

Future Ted: Because that, kids, is the true story, of how I met your Aunt Robin.
Son: Aunt Robin?
Daughter: I thought this was about how you met mom!
Future Ted: Will you relax? I’m getting to it. Like I said it’s a long story
(Pilot, S01e01)

Marshall: Alright, we threw two parties. Everybody had fun. Everybody wanged, everybody chunged. Now the kid has got to get to work, and the kid is not to be disturbed. Repeat after me, “I will not have sex with Marshall”.
Lily & Ted: I will not have sex with Marshall
(Purple Giraffe, S01e02)

Barney: I bet nobody in history has ever licked the Liberty Bell. If someone were to pull that off, I daresay it would be – what’s the word? LEGENDARY
(Sweet Taste of Liberty, S01e03)

Robin: So, I’m not going to jeopardize my promotion by saying “booger” for 50 bucks.
Barney: Of course not. Because now you’re saying “nipple”, and it’s a hundred. [motions with finger] Step into my web.
(Return of the Shirt, S01e04)

Marshall: Dude, what’s Krav Maga ?
Ted: I have no idea. Some kind of yoga ?
(Return of the Shirt, S01e04)

Future Ted: Turns out Krav Maga is not a kind of yoga. It’s a form of gorilla street fighting developed by the Israeli army.
(Return of the Shirt, S01e04)

Robin: Because tonight, I am getting us all into “Okay”.
Barney: “Okay” !? Awesome !!
Ted: What’s going on, did I just have a stroke ?
Barney: “Okay” is the name of a club. Yeah, it’s supposed to be incredibly exclusive. This friend of mine once waited outside for two hours, he couldn’t get in.
Ted: A friend of yours named you ?
Barney: No… a friend of mine named, shut up.
(Okay Awesome, S01e05)

Ted: What ? What happened to that, uh, cutlet you were grinding with ?
Barney: That was my cousin, Leslie.
Ted: (laughs) What ?!
Barney: No, no, no… we are not laughing about this, Ted. This is not going to be some funny story that we’ll be telling in a couple months. It’s not gonna be like, “Hey, remember that time when you were grinding with… NO ! And you know why ? Because, italics, this night did not happen. And you promise me that you will never, ever, ever tell another soul what transpired here tonight. You promise. Promise
(Okay Awesome, S01e05)

Ted: I was at this Halloween party up on the roof of our building. I’m about to call it an early night when out of nowhere appeared this girl in the sexiest pumpkin costume.
Robin: Wait, how can a pumpkin costume be sexy?
Ted: It was carved in strategic places.
Ted: So, uh, we’re at the bar and I see her mix kahlua…
Lily: Kahlua and root beer
Marshall: A cocktail she invented herself.
Ted: And she…
Barney: And she called it the Tootsie Roll.
Lily, Marshall, Barney: Because it tastes like an alcoholic Tootsie Roll.
Ted: Hey, can I please tell this story? So we had this instant connection. She gave me her number, but then something…
Marshall, Lily, Barney: Something went terribly wrong.
Ted: Guys! Something went terribly wrong.
(S01e06 Slutty Pumpkin)

Robin: How do you do this, Ted? How do you sit out here all night on the roof in the cold and still have faith your pumpkin’s gonna show up.
Ted: Well, I’m pretty drunk. Look, I know that odds are the love of my life isn’t going to magically walk through that door in a pumpkin costume at 2:43 in the morning but it seems as nice a spot as any to just, you know, sit and wait.
(S01e06 Slutty Pumpkin)

Robin: So what was it, a cockroach or a mouse?
Lily: It was a cockamouse!
Robin: What?
Lily: It’s some sort of mutant combination of the two. It’s as if a cockroach and a mouse, you know…
Barney: Did the horizontal, ten-legged, interspecies cha-cha?
(S01e07 Matchmaker)

Ellen: You I can work with. You give me three days and I will find the woman you will marry.
Ted: Ah, no thanks. I don’t need an algorithm to meet women. It’s New York City. You know, plenty of fish in the sea.

Ellen: Plenty of fish in the sea. Yes, there’s 9 million people in New York, 4.5 million women. Of course you wanna meet someone roughly your own age, let’s say, plus minus 5 years. So if we take into account the most recent census data, that leaves us with 482,000. But, uh, wait, 48% of those are already in relationships and then you have to eliminate half for intelligence, sense of humor and compatibility and then you have to take out the ex-girlfriends and the relatives and oh, we can’t forget those lesbians and then that leaves us with 8 women.
Ted: That can’t be right. Eight? Really, eight?
Ellen: There are 8 fish in that big, blue ocean, Ted. And if you feel confident that you can reel one into your boat without me, there’s the door.
Ted: Do you take credit cards?
(S01e07 Matchmaker)

Barney: I realized what the world of dating needs. Ready? A lemon law.
Robin: A lemon law, like for cars.
Barney: Exactly. From the moment the date begins you have five minutes to decide whether you’re going to commit to an entire evening. And if you don’t, it’s no hard feelings just good night, thanks for playing, see you never. Huh? Huh? The lemon law, it’s gonna be a thing, possibly starting right now.
(S01e08 The Duel)

Lily: On Monday I’m gonna have to tell my kindergarten class, who I teach not to run with scissors, that my fiance ran me through with a freakin’ broadsword!
Marshall: Well, just to be fair, it didn’t go all the way through.
Lily: I’m sorry, is this a discussion about the degree to which you stabbed me?
(S01e08 The Duel)

Robin: I am Canadian. Remember? We celebrate Thanksgiving in October.
Ted: Oh right I forgot. You guys are weird and you pronounce the word ‘out’, ‘oot’.
Robin: You guys are the world’s leader in hand gun violence; your health care system is bankrupt and your country is deeply divided on almost every important issue.
Ted: [pause] Your cops are called ‘mounties’
(S01e09 Belly full of Turkey)

Barney: No, no, that’s a great idea. That’s the whole point of getting drunk. You do things you would never do in a million years if you were sober.
Lily: Says every girl you’ve ever slept with
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Lily: There’s a girl in there.
Ted: I know.
Marshall: And a pineapple.
Ted: I know.
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Ted: And who’s the girl in my bed?
(Barney looks at Lily and Marshall and Ted, stumbles over to Ted’s room and peeks in, closes door and stumbles back to living room) Barney: There’s a girl in your bed.
Marshall: And a pineapple. Am I the only one who’s curious about the pineapple?
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Ted: Why do they call it karaoke anyhow? Was it invented by a woman named Carrie Okie? These are the kinds of things I think about
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Marshall: Look at us, riding around in a limo, eating hot dogs… It’s like we’re the president.
(S01e11 The Limo)

Barney: You don’t bring a date to a wedding. That’s like bringing a deer carcass on a hunting trip
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Barney: What I don’t get is, why is Claudia marrying Stuart? She’s way hotter than him. How way? Way way.
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Ted: Tell Claudia I’m sorry. Did she seem pissed at me?
Lily: She said if there’s no wedding tomorrow, you owe her father $400,000.
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Lily: Claudia is getting married tomorrow and so help me God, if I catch you even so much as breathing the same air as her, I will take those peanuts you try to pass off as testicles and I will squeeze them so hard your eyes pop out and then I’ll feed them to you like grapes.
Barney: Wait, my eyes or my testicles?
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Lily: OK, let’s not lose hope. We’ll call the hotel, maybe she was staying there. We’ll have them check the registry for anyone named Victoria. Or maybe she goes by Vicky or Tori…
Marshall: Or Ictor. Probably doesn’t go by Ictor.
(S01e13 Drumroll, please)

Ted: I don’t feel so good. t’s like my testicles mixed pop rocks and soda.
(S01e14 Zip, zip, zip)

Barney: The only reason to wait a month for sex is if the girl is 17 years, 11 months old.
(S01e14 Zip, zip, zip)

Victoria: I’ve only had two boyfriends before, Ted.
Robin: Prude alert!
Victoria: Well, two serious ones. I’ve dated others in between.
Robin: Slut alert!
(S01e15 Game Night)

Barney: Um, are you coloring in your butt?
Marshall: I have a big interview coming up, and my suit has holes in it. I can’t sew, I don’t own Navy boxers, so, yeah, I’m coloring in my butt
(S01e16 Cupcake)

Lily: Oh, my gosh, it’s perfect! Oh! This dress is totally going to get me laid on my wedding night.
(S01e16 Cupcake)

Bilson: Ok, Eriksen, let’s get to work. It’s 2am and its raining outside, ding dong what? The Doorbell? Oh, hello, Jessica Alba in a trenchcoat and nothing else, but wait, knock knock, somebody is at the back door.
Marshall: I don’t have a back door.
Bilson: Oh my gosh, Jessica Simpson, what a surprise. Two Jessicas, you gotta pick one, what do you do? Go!
Marshall: Right, well, I’m engaged.
Office Jerk: Fiancee is out of town, what do you do? Go!
Marshall: We’re still engaged.
Bilson: Ok, fiancée is dead, hit by a bus, what do you do, GO!
(S01e17 Life Among the Gorillas)

Future Ted: But here’s the real question: It’s 2:00 a.m. Your friends are still out singing karaoke, but you’re home early ’cause you’re expecting a call from your girlfriend in Germany, who was supposed to call four hours ago. And then the phone rings.
Ted: Hello.
Robin: Hi, Ted. It’s Robin. Um, listen, I know it’s late, but, uh, do you want to come over?
Future Ted: What do you do? Go.
(S01e17 Life Among the Gorillas)

Marshall: Do you remember the huge secret that you told me that you weren’t supposed to but you did? The thing… about Robin?
Barney: Oh, you mean how Robin’s in love with Ted?
Marshall & Lily: What?
Barney: Yeah, she told me already. Go on.
Marshall: Wait. So I’m the only one that she didn’t tell? She told you and not me?
Barney: Well, I guess I’m just better friends with her than you are.
Marshall: Well, I’m better friends with Ted than you are.
Barney: That is a lie!
Marshall: It is not a lie.
Barney: Okay, that’s it! You and me! I’m not afraid of you!
Marshall: I’ll show you things you never seen before! I used to box in the Army!
(S01e18 Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.)

Barney : But if you’re not interested, fine, I’m out 500 bucks. Whatever.
Ted: 500 bucks?
Barney: Ted, you’re my cabron. You think I’m gonna stick you with some toothless tranny from the Port Authority?
(S01e19 Mary the Paralegal)

Ted: Mary, I’m not going to have sex with a prostitute.
Mary: No Ted, I’m a paralegal.
Ted: You’re a hooker.
Mary: No, I’m a paralegal.
Ted: No, you’re a hooker.
Mary: No, I’m a paralegal.
Ted: [pause] You’re a paralegal.
(S01e19 Mary the Paralegal)

Marshall: Come on, if you don’t laugh, it just seems mean.
(S01e19 Mary the Paralegal)

Barney : Now, ladies, slut up!
(S01e20 Best Prom Ever)

Lily: Okay, yes, it’s a mistake. I know it’s a mistake. But there are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake but you don’t really know it’s a mistake because the only way to really know it’s a mistake is to make the mistake, and look back, and say, “Yep. That was a mistake.” So, really, the bigger mistake would be to not make the mistake, because then you go your whole life not really knowing if something is a mistake or not. And, damn it, I’ve made no mistakes! I’ve done all of this– my life, my relationship, my career– mistake-free. Does any of this make sense to you?
Ted: I don’t know. You said “mistake” a lot. Lily, don’t do this.
(S01e21 Milk)

Ted: I don’t want perfect. I want Robin.
Marshall: Oh, God, not this again. Ted, it’s a mistake.
Ted: Maybe. But it’s a mistake I have to make.
(S01e21 Milk)

Ted: Hey, Penelope, have you, uh, have you ever actually seen a rain dance performed?
Penelope: No.
Ted: No?
Penelope: I’ve read extensively on the subject: firsthand accounts, theoretical criticism, the anthropological…
Ted: Have you ever seen a rain dance?
Penelope: I’ve seen a film strip.
Ted: Terrific. Uh, look, I should run. I’m getting brain surgery from some guy who’s seen a couple episodes of E.R. I can’t believe this. We’ve been up here for the past hour making complete asses of ourselves.
Barney: What do you mean “we,” white man?
(S01e22 Come On)

Barney: Well, then why are you doing this?
Ted: Because I love her. I love her! I told her that the first night we went out, and here it is, eight months later, and nothing’s changed. So yes, I know this isn’t gonna work. But it has to work! You hear me, universe? This is Ted Mosby talking! Give me some rain! Come on! Come on! Come on…!
(Rain starts falling down)
Barney: Oh, come on!
(S01e22 Come On)

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Dailies

 

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To climb or To run, that is the question


Would I rather climb a mountain or run a marathon?

UTMB 2008 (231)

To answer this question, I need to ask popular opinion if one should stick to do what one does best or one should keep trying on new things?

I’ve climbed mountains throughout my university years (and boy was it a loong years). Some of the classes required us in climbing these mountains, the student union required us in climbing other mountains, and for some others I did it for fun. Mountain climbing was like going to the dentist when I first did it (Hell no. My dentist is very kind and I’m never afraid to be with my dentist, not so good comparison this one) : I didn’t like the preparation, the breath panting, the extreme weather, the pain in my legs.

But then I got used to it. It became a ritual and I got smarter in preparing myself (mentally and physically), storing oxygen, and wiser clothing (No, I could never get over the pain in my legs). Mountain climbing was no longer a challenge, it was just an option for my weekend.

I run of course : Every morning with my dog (every day from reality?? -kidding).  But I never run a marathon. Is it that hard really?  Or is the secret to run a marathon like Barney Stinson of HIMYM once said : “Step one : you start running. There’s no step two” Hahaha.
Seriously, for the sake of my life reputation I should run a marathon. People will surely think I do try everything in life, “What a fun life that gal has”

Now. Se-Ri-Ous-Ly.
To answer that question sincerely. I’d climb a mountain. Why? Because I forgot to tell you how wonderful feeling I had being on the top on any mountain.

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Dailies

 

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My Must-See TV


How I fell for How I Met Your Mother

After FRIENDS and Ally McBeal era have ended, I rarely watch TV. Then in 2009, my friend #3 in Singapore told me that I must watch How I Met Your Mother because “it’s too damn funny to be missed”.

So I watch one by one and it’s sure too damn funny to be missed.

I love the interaction of the gang, the story, the jokes.. they’re all so real and too damn funny

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Dailies

 

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