Daily Prompt: Pep Rally

Daily Prompt posts: We all know someone who could use a pep talk… so write them one!

Talking about pep talk, it reminds me of an inspirational speech in a movie I used to watch! My favorite teacher, who used to teach me the subject, Literature, back in Secondary School, is accustomed to using films and screening plays as a means of incorporating learning values in us, which are of course related to what we’re about to learn / learning.

How I love those lessons… of movie screenings!

There were a couple of inspiring films she showed us, like Rain Man and the Freedom Writers. The significant pep talk I remembered comes from the movie, titled Coach Carter.

I’m no part of any Pep Rally and it’s quite unimaginable to see myself doing a pep talk to a team of people and then, they’ll convinced by it. But I’ve dreamt of being able to do that! Maybe to just serve the purpose of comforting or encouraging myself during my down moments.

I can’t write a pep talk, but maybe I’ll share this one from this movie to anyone who could use a pep talk – to a few people I know of who are feeling discouraged and inferior at this moment, anyone and including myself who needs it now and then for the same reason:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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Daily Prompt: (My) Golden Hour | Not a morning person!

Daily Prompt posts: 6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?

My golden hour has got to be close to my 3AM bedtime! I am never a morning person and never will I ever become one who enjoys stretching out of bed to the 6AM alarm set for school, work or any other things. To think about it, tomorrow is my first day of the final school semester, which means waking up early for school on consecutive week days ; but not as early as 6AM, probably close to 7AM. Having to get out of bed at any hour before 10AM is unearthly!

The thing about past midnight and 3AM that scares me is the lack of life outside the house. What makes it worst is the ghostly tales I’ve heard from others or I’ve read about. Staying in my room, past midnight is a perfect idea. The thought of walking home alone at night scares me already! Ever since I’ve moved to another place, the neighborhood which I’m presently staying at becomes really quiet when it approaches the evening. Barely any traffic on the road, or people under the void decks, in the playground or along the pathways. It’s not as brightly-lit as the neighborhood I used to stay in.

And I’m easily spooked by the silence of the night. Out of all other times of the day, the scenes from the various horror movies I’ve watched have got to play in my mind right at that moment. I fear for whatever that lurks behind me while I hurry past the corridors to my house, panicking to open the padlock securing the metal gate and quickly closing it after me when I’m inside the house.

The 6AM darkness scares me as much as well. It’s not the darkness that scares me, as there’s so much uncertainty in a room with the lights off. The fear of darkness doesn’t only apply to kids, it continues into adulthood. But I try to use logic to comfort myself that 6AM is technically and “legitimately” the morning hour already, so whatever that has ambushed itself in the dark at night will be gone by now. And that, life comes out at the hour.

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Technology

Daily Prompt posts: NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?

The first thing that rings a bell to me when the term “modern culture” is mentioned, is technology. Technology belongs onboard! It may raise many concerns for many – that some have a different point of view that technology serves more bad than good in the modern society. Even I have contradicting thoughts about technology, as to whether it is an essential in life or not.

It has become a big part of my life, presumably for many others as well. It gives me greater ease to access the current affairs I could learn about, the world beyond what I’m exposed to. I could also filter out the news that interest me more than the others. As vain as it might seem, it brings me closer to the people I look up to, in other words, my idols! My favorite music follows me wherever I go (in the playlist in my phone) and I can conveniently pop in the earpiece to enjoy the music, without having to set the CD inside the bulky player at home to do that. And I could review all the Daily Prompts and blog about them! Technology has got to go onboard the spacecraft, so that we learn about life on another distant planet! And the danger that lurks in that place. Or else how are we gonna do that?

But when technology becomes our life, instead of just a significant part of it… it irks me seeing others, and realizing that even myself, get controlled by these devices which could just only fit the size of our palm, instead of being the one controlling them. Besides the responsibilities and duties we’re bounded to, such as work or school, we’re very immersed in swiping, scrolling or tapping whatever on our SmartPhones – we do that when we wake up in the morning, on our journey to work, during our break, after work on the journey back home, and just before you go to bed. We tend to overlook alot of things around us. We still won’t be able to appreciate life on the distant planet – when we determine that the distant planet is Mother Earth 2.0 which is perfect for survival, we can’t rule out the possibility of getting human beings onboard with the best of modern culture in the spacecraft, on the journey to the distant planet!

Nevertheless, there’re still some things I’d prefer an option without technology, rather than one that has. Like books, I’d prefer to read them by literally flipping each page towards the end. Even when the book is torn and tattered as it is, I’d still choose it over an e-book on an iPad or an Amazon Kindle. Going to places ; I’d prefer having my eyes to focus on the scenery and enjoy every experience, than capturing photographs and tweeting / posting a status on Facebook about it.

Anticipated for PRISM!

Like any other good news, new music by my favorite artists makes me happy!

PRISM – being the sixth album (including the EP and live album) Katy Perry has released. It is supposedly said to be released on the 22 October 2013 on iTunes, but physical copies of album have already been distributed in the Europe continent and in South Africa as well.

The album as a whole ; the music and the packaging, they’re as fresh as daisies. I was given the impression that this one might have been the one album closest to her heart and a very personal one to her. A couple of months ago, Katy herself described her next album as “dark”.

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Daily Prompt: Community Service | An open letter!

Daily Prompt post: Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

How should I begin this… I have a favor to ask from each one of you who knows me personally. Please don’t tell me you’ve read my blog the next time we see each other, whether it’s the next morning during breakfast time, the following day at work or either anytime of the day ; on the off chance we meet along the streets. I wouldn’t know how to respond and react to that statement.

Maybe ‘thank you for taking the time to read my blog’. And if there’s anything you’re curious about, I’m opened to questions – I’d be able to answer a query or two.

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Hyperrealistic artworks by Ron Mueck

While looking for inspirations to write in response to today’s daily prompt, I googled on “sculptures” and wanted to see some of the famous sculptures – mainly the greek ones, but I came across this hyperrealist sculptor, Ron Mueck, whose works really stand out among the others in the page! Hyperrealism ; this genre of art is called – hyper-realism – I see why it stood out!

Various dictionaries defines “hyperrealism” as a realism in art characterized by depiction of real life in an unusual or striking manner ; the tendency to view or represent things as they are.

The last art post I had written about oil paintings – I mentioned about how those artists love to recreate the image of the actual place and I really like that because the different places I have wanted to travel are beautified in my imagination and it has greatly influence my want to go to these places! And it’s always nice to indulge in one’s imagination, especially when Art allows you do so – your favorite painting / sculpture in an Art museum mean something to you based on your experiences, or various traits of the work, etc., even though it might be interpreted in a completely different manner by the creator of that piece of work.

Art is like a much more flamboyant version of Reality. Like the advertisements we see aren’t just straight-from-the-camera photographs, thrown in fancy messages in various outstanding font styles and sizes, and then ready to be shown to the intended audience. Most of the time, there’s no harm in doing alittle romanticizing to those ads when they are now becoming more of a work of art presenting a feast for our eyes, than just merely serving its sole purpose of convincing its consumers.

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The creepy best friend, I am.

Cass and I met out today for the purpose of gathering all the letters we’ve written to each other! I brought an A5-size envelope full of the letters I received from her in the year 2010 ; when we used to write to one another for a period of 5 months and then stopped.

She brought 2 shoe boxes of it, literally sturdy, cardboard shoe boxes! They were filled with the letters, memo, well-wishes cards and little slips of paper we used to sneak into each other’s lockers. They were written by some of the childcare friends we hung out with and what I wrote to her. She kept all those for at least 9 years now, or more – since I entered childcare when I was 10 years old and I’m 19 now! She wrote to me plenty of stuff when we were in childcare, but I don’t know where they went after I left the place… and I didn’t keep them. I only started to keep the letters she wrote to me after both of us left.

We had a good laugh after reading all those. I thought I was that very sentimental friend to have written that 2 boxes full of sweet friendship notes to my best friend. For a week, I was very much looking forward to read what I have written to her when I was a kid (a week ago, Cass suggested this whole gathering-our-letters thing during our following meet-up). But it turns out differently.

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Book review: Dreams of Joy

I’ve just finished reading the novel, ‘Dreams of Joy‘. I enjoyed this sequel novel very much as I did for the previous one, ‘Shanghai Girls’! While the plot of ‘Shanghai Girls’ was still fresh in my memory, I immediately proceed to make book reservation of its sequel novel in the national library website and eagerly went to get it in my neighborhood library on the following day when I received the notice that my book was ready for collection.

There has been many thrills of anticipation while reading ‘Dreams of Joy’ – that it sets me worrying about Joy when I was reading the chapters of her written account. One moment, you want to get to the end of the novel to unfold the mysteries from the first novel while the other moment, you don’t want to get to the end because that means you see the end of these fictional characters who’ve been occupying your mind for the past 2 months and it’s time to get out of that adventure.

I’ve always yearned to find books which I can easily relate to the stories. I never thought I’d be able to enjoy the novels as much as I did because the first instance I came across the book, ‘Shanghai Girls’, I thought it’d be a chick-flick story about the most popular and beautiful girls in town. Ancient chick-flick. That’s why they say you should never judge a book by its cover. But I picked up the book because I read the first few pages of the novel and it did interest me and I could understand it. Most of the time, I suffer to understand the content of the book up to the next few chapters when I couldn’t figure the first few lines of the story. That’s why I can’t always enjoy reading any book I pick up in the library – it tends to take me more time to browse shelves after shelves, hoping to pick up a book which I’ll stay engaged throughout.

Photo courtesy by: bibliojunkie

Reading these 2 novels is like travelling through decades and generations with Pearl, May and the rest of the fictional characters.

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Remember ‘The Giving Tree’?

I forgot how I came across the memory of the ‘The Giving Tree’ story, just yesterday, and started to youtube the short film, narrated by the author himself, Shel Silverstein.

The story was first told to me, or somewhere I read it when I was in Primary School. The familiarity of the story comes from the pictures itself – the most significant is when the full-grown tree is reduced to a stump towards the end of the story. I guess most of us would have known this story, or that it must be lying somewhere in your childhood memory – since especially during that stage of growing up, we would have been told more stories than we’ve ever been told when we’re all grown up.

There has been many interpretations of the original story, as I googled the background of the story and reviews – whether it’s in a pure way of one’s selfless love for another with no evil intentions of course, or either what reviews claim to be “controversial concerns” about the story ; in an erotic way which I never did interpret it that way when I was narrated to the story for the first time, at that point of time when I barely knew about the existence of those kind of stuff. But Literature allows you to interpret a story in so many ways if you can offer a good explanation which gets the nod, so this possibility cannot be ruled out.

My interpretation of the story, which is the most sensical explanation I can think of to justify for the love that… the apple tree has for the little boy, is like a parent-child relationship – which a parent is willing to give his/her all for the future of the child so that the child is happy (when the boy grows up and wants more and more out of the tree). It seems logical to think that it’s a win-win situation since we’re a part of our parents and it’ll make them happy if we are (the repetition of “and the tree was happy” in the story). But to deprive something out of them for our own happiness is a different thing. It doesn’t have to necessarily be biological parent, could be a foster one or like a grandparent’s love.

Below is the film, narrated by the author himself. Compared to so many videos out there with narrations from different people with nice, soothing voices, the music gives the old vintagey, classic-film feel and the original voice behind the story brings out alot of that heart-sinking feeling.