1. Everyone Should Use Deodorant

    If there is one piece of advice I’d give to young people, it’s to never leave the house without putting on deodorant. Like, seriously. Preferably anti-perspirant. 

    First impressions matter. Heck, any impressions after that matter. No one enjoys being around a smelly person who for some inexplicable reason seem oblivious to their own B.O, or worse, indifferent about it. You don’t want to be known for being that person who stinks really bad. So bad that people avoid standing near you, and swap scent stories about you when you’re not around. Trust me, they do it. Even your friends.

    Maybe they’re too nice to rock the boat and tell you that you smell like a dirty gym sock. But if you’re not wearing deodorant and you’re even remotely sweating on a hot day, chances are you probably do stink. Unless you’re one of those magical people who seem to have non-stink genes no matter how much they perspire. You suck, go away. Or stick around, since you don’t smell bad.

    Anyway, my point is, do yourself a favor. Use deodorant. Maybe even throw on some cologne. Not too much though. You want to smell like a clean person, not like a perfume store.

     
  2. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias has always been one of my favourite poems, and Bryan Cranston’s reading is by far one of the best I’ve heard. Chilling and sobering.

     
     

  3. Thoughts on The Conjuring

    So I watched The Conjuring the other day. For the first time in a long time, I enjoyed being scared.

    I don’t usually like horror. I refuse to watch most horror movies because they’re either just too creepy, too cliche or too gory (though I’m always up for a good zombie movie). I’m also not a big fan of horror that puts the emphasis on shock and gore, like the Saw series or the recent Evil Dead reboot. Gratuitous violence and blood. Ick. Though if the gore is less of a focus and more of an element tempered by other core pieces like good music, brilliant acting or an enthralling plot, the film can become one of my favourites.

    Anyway, back to The Conjuring. This is a classic old-fashioned ghost film. Creepiness without resorting to disgust and blood and guts. This is the kind of horror I could get into. The kind that makes you squirm in your seat, or cover your face with your hands so you’re peeking through your fingers. Where your imagination is allowed to run wild. Where you’re often creeped out more by what you don’t see rather than what you do. 

    For days after, I was thinking about this film and my favourite scary scenes. I can’t even pick one, there were so many. Oh, and that damn doll. Nightmares, I tell you.

    If you like good simple horror, check out The Conjuring.

    Oh, and this too.

     

  4. Back to Writing.

    A friend asked me why I don’t do any long-form writing anymore, and I simply replied that I didn’t see the point of expressing my thoughts and opinions in blog form anymore.

    But thinking more about it now, the art of long-form writing is an increasingly lost practice outside the realm of journalism, novels, essays and academic research papers. No one really writes much anymore, and it’s an effect of the evolution of how we consume our information. We’re so used to taking in bits and pieces and tweets and messages and all the little status updates. We see and hear and read the world in bite (byte?) sized chunks, and even when we consume, we often do so without much output. And any output we do produce emerges in a similar staccato bits-and-bobs format.

    If you say that people don’t read anymore, you’ll get a bunch of mildly offended literati who passive-aggressively point out that hey, I still read, thank you very much. But they do so with hesitant conviction simply because they realize that they are a dying breed. An endangered group that enjoy the look and feel and even smell of a good book—or at times, as in my case, even the idea of a good book—and how it can conjure entire worlds of colour and sound and depth and emotion, all without getting up from one’s comfortable chair. And they swear up and down that they will teach their children the love of a good book. So maybe there’s hope?

    So people may not read as much anymore. But they write even less. Input is oftentimes much easier than output. It takes time to conceive an idea, put it into words, and then mold the way that idea is expressed in the arrangement of those words, their sound, their pronunciation, the way people read them in their heads. And how do you write your emotion? How do you make your words seethe with anger, or leap with joy, or writhe in pain?

    I used to ask myself why I wrote. Why I blogged. What was the point? Early on, it was a means of expression, but it was also to write for an audience. Like their acknowledgement and agreement with my thoughts and opinions meant validation. Cogito ergo sum. And you agree with me, so you agree that I am.

    And when I decided that I didn’t need that validation, or that I would find it elsewhere, I stopped writing. And other blogs I’ve kept seemed to have fallen by the wayside. But lately, I’ve had people tell me they want me to write again. They want to see what I have to say. 

    So here I am again, writing. Pouring my words and thoughts out on paper. “Paper”. Let’s see where this goes.

     

  5. To be sin for us

    I am ungodly. I am unrighteousness. I am a sinner in the midst of my sin. I face it everyday and some days it threatens to overwhelm me with the simple truth that I’m sick and twisted and no good.

    But I have a conviction. A deep, rooted, certainty. A juxtaposed certainty that despite my depravity, my failure, my weaknesses, I have a Hope. Despite my lack of willpower and wanton disregard of what I know I should do and doing what I should not, there is still Redemption for this evil I have wrought. There is still Grace for these stained hands.

    And in the end, He’s all I’ve got.

     
  6. My first (partial) cover on my uke, which I just got two weeks ago. I’m not that good at strumming yet, so it’s all just simple chords. Sorry for the subpar video and audio; recorded this on my laptop.

     
     

  7. Cover of David Crowder*Band’s Let Me Feel You Shine by my semi-band, Seeds To Three. 

    Lead Guitar: Sheng 
    Rhythm Guitar, Other Instrumentation, Mixing and Track Editing: Shan Wee