Tuesday, March 18, 2008
ummm it's been ages, but let's hope i can fall back into writing as smoothly as possible, and start over without all those picture-story shit. Why had I needed to divert from words and used pixels instead?
Had a thought about a private blog, but it's 3am and I just wana write, curtained or exposed.
Here we go -- I haven't written in almost half a year, whether it was in this blog, or in whatever personal/creative endeavours (minus work and college apps), so some transitions might be jagged, but I never went to lit class anyway.
Writing always makes me think and presses me to shuffle my thoughts, so I suppose I haven't been thinking straight, nor have I wanted to...until now.
Another thing writing does is pushing me to evaluate the current.
In concrete, I hang in limbo as I await the end of the month when my decision letters (I am still not comfortable calling them 'acceptance letters' as Jer does, as there lurks a very real fear of having small envelopes in the mail) arrive, allowing me to know where I'll be spending my next four years, at the very least. In abstract, of late I have always felt...like I am in a perpetual limbo, as well. Worse, in this limbo also exists a pendulum on which I sway, back and forth.
There's what I want, and what I should want; and in the event of them being two very different things, I am usually fucked. I have always (tried to) lived and let live, constantly trying to better come to terms with me not being able to lay out the perfect setting of any/everything I want. But still. I'd like to think I CAN to an extent manipulate life/destiny/karma/fate into presenting a scenario close to my fantasies -- but, when should I stop?
People talk to me -- yakking nonstop on the superficial level and from the sweeping perspectives of 'principles', as if its supposedly one-size-fits-all. Do they think it makes them look smarter, more articulate, by ending their sentences with 'it all comes down to your principles then'? How did THEY come to acquire their 'principles' in the first place anyway?
Anyway, I am annoyed to no end today, firstly by the aforemention political correctness and secondly by my own tendency to sway between extremes; and worse, tonight I am not articulate enough to word my thoughts.
Maybe I'll try again tomorrow, and also try to come home from work earlier than midnight.
Posted at 04:01 am by Vivacia
Monday, November 12, 2007
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK - PUN INTENDED
I got my hair coloured today with five different shades of highlights/lowlights - copper, ash grey, blond, dark brown, [something] - so it's no longer the super virgin black but a very trend-right assortment of pigments. The studio even had a name for it - Angel of Darkness or something that sounds like that. And anyway, contrary to popular expectation, I can't post up a picture because a camera's flash can't reflect all the shades nicely and any attempts might just capture a flat color suited (quoting someone) for a chinese porn dvd seller, though my hair (*protective*) is a world away from that. I didn't sit for four hours with my head pressed down by aluminium foil and more foil until there's only aluminium foil and my scalp and my face left only to present a picture looking like my hair came out of a DIY bottle at my own bathroom. Right now, I am having a lot of fun involving me and a mirror. It's extremely satisfying. Another fun thing I can't stop doing to my hair is tilt my head around and watch different shades get played up at different times, lets say red, then I try to catch that cluster of red but when my fingers touch my hair I can't find the red strands because my hair shifted around from that touch and it's now reflecting dark brown instead. Then pause, replay. Of course, the best part: f-r-e-e. There's no burning guilt like from after a massive shopping trip or an unnecessary pedicure, just sheer cheek-to-cheek glee and I-REALLY-can't-step-away-from-the-mirror excitement.
Well, I successfully (and breezily) devoted an entire post to my hair, hope this incredibly self-indulgent vanity offsets some of the previous super serious work posts and thereby excusing this otherwise unforgivable bimbotic-ity.
Now, I also did get a pedicure...
Posted at 09:08 pm by Vivacia
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Today is The Day, The Day that glows around the edges and gives me free time to have a House season 4 marathon, The Day that screams no schedule! and wake up as late as you can!. And of course, the day to blog. Yep, we are talking about Saturday. The beginning of a work-free weekend. (Though actually I did bring some work home.)
Anyway, as usual, allow me to drone on the highlights of this week, the most recent and best being my brand spanking new Levi's, gifted by Levi's Asia's President after an incredibly satisfactory interview and chat with him during the Flagship store launch at The Gardens. And he gave me and my 3 other crew each a pair before he even had any to drink! You know what, I am starting to really like this part of my job, the constant thought of being able to covet items by sucking up to the one white guy (the big guys are usually the ones with accents) at any store launches. Or rather, having them suck up to me by giving gifts, as lo and behold, thou shalt not get good media coverage if thou did naught to impress me.
I know, before I continue I might pull a muscle or scratch out an eyeball by accident for so brazenly flexing my bragging rights, but ah, since I work almost 14 hours some days, I figure the gods or the cosmos will see past this.
Unrelated, I found that of late my posts have been increasingly wrapped around work and more work. Indeed, that is the current state of my life thus far. How much more personal life can you squeeze in if you spend about 95% of your day at work? It's been almost three weeks since I have been living alone after my family left for India, so axe out the family aspect in my day to day routines, there's really pretty much just work left. I also know, the next golden question you'd ask is probably along the lines of but do you like your job? or is it worth it?, but I gotta say, as much as I love sleeping till midday and indulging in TV marathons all day all week, this job I've got here is challenging every day, and from it I have and will obtain countless lessons unobtainable elsewhere. It is this job that grants some bit of satisfaction after a long day of work with little time left for anything else. It is also this job that shakes me up more than a little and forces me to confront my inadequacies and complacencies, because being just good is never good enough.
Within the first week, I have learnt that being so new and so uneducated in the broadcasting field by no means reduces any slack I am given. Being clueless and not in charged will cause respect for you to slide, fast. Shy on the first shooting assignment? No one's gona help you get that interview but yourself. It's a constant internal struggle to put yourself out there and to suppress that fear of messing up. No one will give motivational pep talks or pat you on your back for that small feat that you thought was such a monumental milestone. I am not saying the working environment generally sucks this much, but that is certainly the norm within my department, and I would say quite usual in the broadcasting everyone-wants-to-climb-on-top-of-everyone-industry.
Last night, at an event I calmly breezed through an impromptu interview with someone important, and though calm I was, I had thought it was far from perfect. But a few casual commendations from my camera crew threw me off guard - those were your own questions? There were good. You were really steady. etc etc - and caused an oddly disproportionate amount of satisfaction to swell in my heart. It was officially the first departure from the usual 'how to be a better journalist 101's or 'no you are not doing it right' or 'ah you are still new you have lots to learn' comments.
So, though it was small, I savoured that sliver of encouragement and praise from these people, who have probably seen torrents of events and shot even more interviews. So you see, these are precisely the satisfactions and happiness I mean when I say I like my job, even though I will never stop bitching about the hours or the mental stress or the lack of time for other stuff et cetera. After all, if obtained without a struggle, there wouldn't be much pride in it, is there?
On a different note, happy 21st, big brother.
Posted at 11:03 am by Vivacia
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
THE JUICE AND THE LOWDOWN, AND SOME HYPOCRISY
Lest you think this space has turned into a cyberspace morgue, it's Friday night again and I am finally free (enough) to sprinkle some much needed water here.
I felt exceptionally productive this week - work-wise (wish I could say the same bout my studies and uni applications though), hitting several milestones - attending my first invitation-only launch, specifically, the launch of the new BCBG store in Pavilion; mingling for the first time with big-timers in a purely social setting; and committing my first major blooper at work.
If any of you saw my live program on-air, on tuesday, in the midst of the show, you would have seen that there suddenly were a 5-second black screen and a 1-second frozen frame before commercial took over - dramatique-style. Yup, that was me, and no, I didn't get fired because I blamed it on the machines. I was terrified the whole day through, because apparently, on-air blunders are a HUGE thing in TV. Something about the sponsors paying hundreds of thousands of money.
Nevertheless, I felt the whole episode was oddly ironic, as I have never really witnessed a black screen and frozen screen in all my television-watching years, and yet now I work at a TV I made it happen, effortlessly, amidst frantic screams of 'commercial commercial take over take over!', just like in the movies. There's a perverse sense of triumph to it, just make sure no one busts you.
Since I mentioned attending launches and events, I should probably divulge more on the glamorous side of my job and unveil the green-eye monsters in you, or, I could not caramelize the truth and reveal the real deal - which is not always a bunch of roses.
First launch I attended was the launch of BCBG concept store in Pavilion, and there were drinks and evian and hors d'oeuvres of pretty little yummy food, an awesome door gift, and of course, a fashion show. Then I attended the launch of Esprit Flagship Store, which had the same stuff as BCBG. Events pending are the store launches of Tangs and Levi's and Braun Buffel, which will happen over the next couple of weeks. So here you go, the glam stuff - fun, freebies, and mingling and free food. But behind these just-like-in-the-movies stuff there's blood, sweat and tears and possibly some exaggeration.
When attending events I have to be uber diplomatic and all smiles and praises for the party-thrower, even if the place was hot and stuffy and the fashion show ridiculous. It's like a 24/7 job. Then the after-party mingling is just an extension of the previous two sentences, because GETTING CONTACTS are these two sacred words that hang from a pedestal. These events also happen mostly in evenings that extend to nights, so as much fun as it sounds, it's still work and after a long day of work smiling may just be the last thing you want to do, especially if the goodie bag is actually a stuff-that-don't-sell-well-at-the-store clearance bag.
Another arduous part is not being able to eat properly. Every time a nicely bow-tied waiter hover pass me with a tray of oysters or brownies or indistinguishable-but-no-doubt-yummy food, I have to pass them up because for the couple of minutes I'd take to chew the food, someone wearing a lot of makeup (celebrity), someone wearing heavy jewellery (possibly the manager), someone clutching a clipboard/notebook/nametag (from the PR agency) or someone old and comes with a plus-one (definitely the biggest fish there) might just walk pass me, and a self introduction with broccoli stuck to my teeth doesn't exactly leave a good first impression, no matter how firm the handshake.
Though it is uncountable the times I wished I could just show up and whisk away the goodie bag and then dwell at one dark corner, and call me a hypocrite if you wish to, but so far I've actually enjoyed getting my first taste of the big fancy world of connections and exclusivity, if you take out the fatigue of coming home past 12am and other bad seeds that sodden the deal.
In the end it is the journalist that stays on late and waits till the party dies down, then proceeds to catch one waiter and make him wait while she pops one after another the small cute foods on his tray till there was none left.
Posted at 10:41 pm by Vivacia
Friday, October 19, 2007
Yesterday my entire family (big bro who's living on campus here in M'sia aside) departed for India, where dad works, as the younger siblings are already on school holidays. The trip wil last tentatively around 2 months, but their return might get postponed indefinitely should the migration attempt work out. So I am effectively at my own devices now.
All alone at a quiet home is an unprecedented change, I mean, I have been left at home sans parents before, but never without the noisy siblings. And this change propelled me into realising the size of this world, as there's a real chance my family might migrate to India. And that while I sit here swimming in my simple-life-made-complicated with all its internal drama and crazy happenings, the grains of sand in my hourglass life clock are steadily trickling downwards, one way.
Why should I spend my youth toiling away at work? It's true the feeling of getting paid is awesome (just today I got my paycheck, and it's still only late middle of the month!), but what am I giving up for that monetary reward? The novelty of landing a big job is already fraying at the edges, and each day brings only more tearing to the initial hype. A girlfriend recently took up a UK work travel visa, enabling her to work in UK for 2 years and gawk at Europe, while I griped and fussed over the what ifs and the potential stumbling blocks. Making a solely personal decision and shouldering the full responsibility of the decision is something I have yet to learn to execute gracefully, Instead, I take que sera sera one step further, lying on my back thinking what will be will be, and if what will be is going to be that hard, then it's not what will be after all.
But the shaking up of my comfort zone - no dinners to come home to, nobody to operate the washing machine, no sloppy kisses from the sister, no comforting presence of company at home - did serve as a catalyst to shake up MY own views and decisions. How many times am I going to be young? I am determined and set, made up my grand plans, and will pack up my bags and tread the world!
Posted at 10:49 pm by Vivacia
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Today I woke up at 8am, from a never ending dream of running. Somehow my brain conjured up the picture where someone I care about but had no idea who had wound up at a hospital, and I had to run all the way to the hospital, stopping at every intersection to ask for directions. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had actually gotten there, but instead it gets farther and farther, and it gets dark, and I am still running. I wonder if dreams of running burn real calories.
So I woke up at the crack of dawn and had the opportunity to relish the silence, before the young 'uns get up and tune into SCHOOL BREAK SPECIAL AT LOUD LOUD LOUD VOLUMES. I utilized the silence to channel some narcissism: flipping through my blog for my older posts.
It feels slightly weird reading about myself from a 3rd person point of view, but when read at one go my life from this moment all the way back to July, I could sense my the different times of my life and how I once held varying perspectives, priorities, and of course, writing styles. Here's evidence:
Excerpt #1 - March 22, Thursday
"...Many dealings with newly made friends or old acquaintances were often limited to friendly condescensions and that inevitable bickering, or circulation of news, movies, jokes; never really too sincere, nor personal. This were the kind of conversations where you find yourself silent once the huge mutual HA-HA-HA roaring passed and static is in the air again. Effort has to be made and it is certainly felt. Plus, it often concerns more then two people..."click for more.
Excerpt #2 - April 05, Thursday
"...This is Christina Ricci. Who happens to have bangs like mine. She makes it look hot and polished, and it so very clearly defines her impeccable jawline and cheekbones. And because I have eyes half her size, my above-eyebrows fringe further defines my chinese-ness and took youthfulness a tad further, so I effectively look like a rural China schoolgirl who's never heard of the internet..."
Excerpt #3 - April 24, Tuesday
"...I was lying on my bed reading when my baby sister noisily barged into my room. A reprimand was at the tip of my tongue when she'd promptly came and lay beside me. I had just showered so the air was filled with the sickly sweet scent of warm soap. She took a whiff and exclaimed, 'u smell soo good!', then without a hint she gave me a messy kiss and exclaimed again in an awe-filled voice, little fingers twirling strands of my hair, 'I wish I were older so I can be like you!'. She left the room as quickly and noisily as she entered..."
Excerpt #4 - May 07, Monday
"...Fast forward to right now, two weeks prior to the end of my entire pre-U studies, I am still waiting for that eureka moment where I'll suddenly just know what I want to do. But instead I remain petulantly angry and baffled that we are made to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives at the age of 19. I don't even have a favourite movie yet, and I just indulged myself in a rather angsty argument with my father detailing how my lack of direction today is all his fault. And I am supposed to pick a career?..."
Click for more.
Excerpt #5 - June 17, Sunday
"...Other than some oh-no-u-didn'ts and eyerolls from friends, along with an exorbitant amount of self-loathe churned together with starry-eyed optimism, I can very reassuringly say that I still don't know if Big is here to stay..."
Click for more.
Excerpt #6 - June 21, Thursday
"...I loathe the term mood swing. It's so light, obsolete, thin - as if that sudden descend into the indeterminate void is no more a mere stumble than the excruciating plummet that it actually is. Yet everywhere I hear it. I even hear myself saying it sometimes. But what is there to swing? What if that godawful mood just keeps plunging and you get this sinking feeling that it'll NEVER swing back up, then is it still just a mood swing? Or a rapid fall into insanity?..."
Excerpt #7 - August 01, Wednesday
"...Oh, btw, if you see me on the streets, it'll probably be preceded with a VERY LOUD LAUGH. And a burp. But if I stay quiet my stilettos and (attempt at) tres chic
dressing will probably fool you into thinking that I am actually not gross..."
Click for more.
The occasional grimacing aside, this trip down memory lane had been beneficial in restoring my belief that I am capable of occasionally giving birth to above-par writings, even if it takes 10 below-pars to achieve that 1 good piece. (Bet Tolstoy had an arsenal of blunders before he wrote War and Peace, and it scarce matters since none of them but War and Peace is remembered! And maybe Anna Karenina.)
Posted at 10:42 am by Vivacia
Monday, October 15, 2007
Early this morning I woke up to a text from a designer whose home I shot for my programme, asking me if I were at the TV station's Raya open house today. I searched through my memory and remembered that today there was to be an open house, so rounded up my whole family into the car and set off for some free food.
Catered by the 5-star Millennium Hotel, the food was unlike all the conventional open houses (read: bad food), and served by suit-donning waiters albeit the sweltering heat, this open house was a pleasing affair. And the best part was definitely the HARLEYS!
me on my way out (Of course the crossed legs were just for the picture's sake, I had to spread my legs and grip on tight for the road!)
The biggest bike
The Harley Davidson Club sent a convoy of about 15 bikes to take people around for joy rides, and booooy was the experience mind (and hair and skirt) blowing..
With director Dato' Mohamed
With parents and Datin Mohamed
On a whole, I think my family had a whole load of fun (more than I did!) - the siblings ran around bustling with the fun, dad had his old guys' chat with the many people there, mum was happy at the buffet table, while I was busy being mindful, being a new employee and all.
Posted at 01:20 pm by Vivacia
Sunday, October 14, 2007
EXCERPTED FROM A CLOUDY AFTERNOON
...In the end, love has got very little to do with everything, because when the stars aren't aligned and the sun is eclipsed, even pain is irrelevant, hurt insignificant. The only thing not too outrageous to ask for is a proper closure, and then I get off the ride.
EDIT: Closure granted, passionately. My heart's mine to control again, mine only.
Posted at 04:38 pm by Vivacia
Saturday, October 13, 2007
On one assignment to Batting Cages at One Utama, the sun was blazing, but the fun was amazing!
Interviewing Tim the owner (love this pic, I look busy!)
Taking a swing
Took my bro along for some free shots
This place is a great change from the movie+pool+bowling combo of a typical One Utama outing, and at RM7 per 15 shots it's affordable enough.
Yesterday, dad came back from India for an impromptu visit! Here's a very first picture of the kids with daddy dearest.
India has turned dad's headful of lush black hair into sparse crops in a drought! Smile's still unmistakeable though =D
*sorry for the in-your-face blown up pictures, the resolutions would turn very very bad at any attempts to shrink them.
Posted at 05:25 pm by Vivacia