Things I Love Thursday

Happy Halloween~ and have a Blessed Samhain :D Here are a list of things that have made me happy this week~


(images taken from here)

First off, I attended the Nanowrimo Kickoff Party on Saturday. And I was almost an hour late… (because of the heavy downpour which made the bus move at a glacial pace) so I kinda missed everything except the last few minutes of the powerpoint slides that they had regarding the details of write-ins and prize-giving for the forum competitions.

But hey, the free junk food was awesome. And I managed to talk to people and stuff. Seriously, there were some pretty cool folk, and I’m talking about the older people, cos there were really quite a number of teenagers there, like secondary school age, which makes me feel so goddamn old and angsty about the lost years where I didn’t rebel enough, didn’t work hard enough, didn’t act like some unruly hooligan enough… Well, like I told some girl whose name I cannot really recall now, except that it started with a ‘c’, I think, I was born with an old soul.

I also had quite a long conversation regarding the stigma local writers face, the trials and tribulations of navigating the publishing industry and the horrors of editing with some people, including a published writer herself (who is super cool, and studied medieval history in university and practises swordfighting.)


And someone drew this on the whiteboard! Night Vale~ Cecilos~ :DDD

And on Sunday, the three socially awkward chums meet up to watch one of us perform at SOTA. I love love love the repertoire that the choral group has chosen, because all of these pieces are so evocative and haunting, and for some reason, the whole theme felt very nocturnal and reflective.

Also, it was wonderful to know that the proceeds of the concert will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, especially as someone in the family has passed away due to leukemia, and well, it is nice to know that others will be getting help and support in these moments.

I’m also super excited for the upcoming Singapore Writers Festival. I wasn’t really going to go at first, until I saw that they were bringing in Laura and Tracy Hickman, who created the Dragonlance series, which I devoured like an addict as a fantasy-addled kid. Plus Terri Windling! :D And because I’m afraid of being lost and because there are just so many things going on concurrently, I made a proper schedule for myself with the details of the sessions that I will be attending. I’m blaming this on my ocd nature/virgo + 6th house stellium. (ah, if only I was as attentive in my studies… haha.)

I was rudely awakened at 8 am by the post woman, who rang and rang and rang the doorbell like she was possessed but I can’t even be mad at her for rousing me at such an hour, because she delivered another one of my Kickstarter projects, this one was from awesomemaps, and I can’t wait to actually put them up on my wall~ :D

And I just finished downloading this (Epica’s live concert celebrating their 10th anniversary), and I will probably only watch it tomorrow so I can fully absorb the awesome. I know people have criticised Simone’s voice as being weaker and more nasal and less powerful, but I think she still sings beautifully, and always with so much lyrical emotions. Also, her headbanging is ftw.

countdown

Nanowrimo starts this Friday and well… as the cliche goes, a picture says a thousand words, well, here’s a picture about my abilities to plan/plot a story:

5 Horror Elements that Creep the Hell Out of Me

Basically what the title implies because Halloween is near and telling people what scares me so that they can eventually use it against me is totally a wise move.

Also, all images taken from google search, unless otherwise stated.

01 creepy towns that look normal on the surface

This came to mind when I was playing through Dragon Age: Origins, where one of the quests required me to go to a small isolated village where you’d discover that all of the villagers are cultists who probably partake in blood rituals and they killed innocent passerbys who accidentally find out about their creepiness. And I was reminded of the village in Hot Fuzz, where the villagers are also the cultist type who murder people they think are disgraceful to their town. If I recall correctly there’s a similar-ish episode in Supernatural, where the villages sacrifice people to a scarecrow monster for good harvests or something.

So obviously there are plenty of horror movies out there with this particular setting, where you go to a small sleepy village that looks lovely and charming and rustic on the surface, with good neighbourliness and wholesome hearty fare, only to discover that they’re actually evil and they’re planning on strapping you to their sacrificial altar and draining you of your blood and doing other cultist things.

02 the deserted carnival/theme park at night

It is especially creepy when you step into the carnival and suddenly there is a musical box type of background music, and the lights of the merry-go-round suddenly flickers to life and the animal rides just start moving up and down, their faces a fixed mask of good cheer…

03 mirrors

there are two instances when mirrors are particularly creepy. Firstly there’s the whole ‘your reflection is moving independently of you’, and you hope it doesn’t come through the mirror into your universe/dimension and idk be a murderous doppelganger. Also, people used to think that you are going to die if you see your doppelganger.

And the second one being looking up into the mirror to realise that there is someone behind you. There was this Supernatural episode where you can summon the spirit of Bloody Mary by saying her name thrice in front of a mirror. So imagine whispering her name and the next time you look into the mirror, there’s a lady dressed in white, holding a blood-stained knife poised to attack you.

04 vintage gas masks

This one, I blame Doctor Who. Because creepy child wearing a gas mask that can turn other people around him into gas mask wearing creepy folk, asking you if you had seen his mummy? Totally creepy in the right context.

05 people wearing animal masks

the image should be self-explanatory. Just imagine these kids wandering around the deserted theme parks at night or the cultists donning these headgear before they kill you in a ritualistic manner…

(by the way, these photos are taken from here, so you can actually buy them and creep people out in real life.)

Social Awkwardness

So I go on reddit quite a bit, and one of the subreddits that I subscribe to happens to be r/INTP, because that’s the MBTI I test as. Aaaand the one thing that hits me whenever I look through the posts, is that we’re all united by the fact that we are socially awkward as hell.

But I resent that opinion, which I will attempt to prove through the fact that I do have social skills, and I use it.

First off, let’s go with the premise that I am incapable of being social without acting like a doofus.

While that particular scenario has never happened to me (because I know better than to wink at people to make it look as though I am appealing), I agree that there are moments in my life when my attempts to look cool have failed. However, these are few because other than an ill-advised period of my teenage years, looking cool was hardly a priority since I have self-esteem falling out of my butt, to quote Abed.

 And of course, I am very much guilty of the whole ‘fiddling with my phone to look as though I am busy so I don’t look like a complete loser’. But most of the time, it’s mainly to entertain myself because I like high amounts of mental stimulation at any given time. The phone also helps in the sense that it acts as a barrier between the outside world and myself, since I can choose to tune out of my surroundings when it’s boring me and yet still pretend to be doing something useful, like talking to someone or idk checking the news. Of course, chances are I’m either on twitter or reading fanfics.

Also, I don’t know why people make it such a big deal about eating alone at restaurants, because it’s not as though the waitstaff treat you any differently when you ask for a table for one versus a table for thirteen because you’re going to hold a seance.

 Despite my tendencies to avoid social situations, I am perfectly capable of handling myself in them. I might be disdainful of small talk and superficial conversations, but eff it, I’m good at them.

Being a self-dubbed ‘jack of all trades’, I like to think that I can talk about any and every topic under the sun, though of course, my knowledge may over the at the surface level, but I presume that it is good enough for conversing with another person, because after all, a conversation is a two-way street and I’m not expected to give a lecture on that particular topic. (Unless of course it is something I am passionate about and I have done relevant research.)

Bottom line: I’m not socially awkward, for all the jokes I make about myself. It’s called self-deprecation, and I’m effing brilliant at that, because making fun of yourself is more socially accepted than making fun of other people because that way leads to hurt feelings and broken bones. (Someone threatened to beat me up in secondary school for making fun of her with my words… aaaand I don’t want to repeat that again, because I don’t appreciate getting my arse handed to me.)

Latherati Soap Foundry; Matchmaker

A literary scent to go with the fact that I’m attending a nanowrimo party~ :D

First off, I need to state that Latherati is currently closed at the moment, and the owner, Julie, has mentioned that the shop will be relaunched eventually, buuuuut so far, I heard nothing. My bottle of Matchmaker was from a couple of years back, so if she may reformulate/rename/redesign the product by the time she reopens.

(Confession: I have yet to finish any of my perfumes, even those 1 ml sample vials… because I have too many things to use, so nothing runs out… even though I got some of them back in 2010.)

Latherati creates bath & body products inspired by books, mainly the classics. Matchmaker is a reference to Jane Austen’s Emma, which I haven’t read and I doubt I’ll rectify that. I know vaguely that in the story, Emma attempts to matchmake people, but to disastrous results, because she’s not as smart as she thinks she is. I may be wrong, of course.

That said, the fragrance is a sweet and pleasant one; it’s not complex or novel. From the etsy description, the notes are ripe strawberries, orchid and a touch of plum. I honestly cannot detect the individual notes, and there doesn’t seem to be any change in the scent over the course of time wearing it. It’s remains static, and the sillage is actually fairly low, sitting close to the skin instead of wafting through the air. Overall it doesn’t have much lasting power, I find that I have to reapply it after an hour or so.

While it’s not an exceptional fragrance, I find that I reach for it on lazy days where I just want to smell nice and cannot be bothered to hunt through my giant list for some specific note or particular blend.

Hell yeah, Grimm is back! :D Although technically, not yet because time zones… I will have to wait till Saturday before I can find a torrent of it… *facepalm*

I like the series mainly because it features supernatural creatures and you know that’s like catnip to me, and they’re inspired by fairy tales, which is another big brownie point.

Things I Love Thursday

Short list for this week!

So I got around to watching this during the weekend, and despite the fact that I went in thinking it was like a prequel to the Gintama series where we discover more about Gin’s past as a Joi patriot buuuuut it was more like a ‘wtf hilarious fun ride with bits of slight angst’. Yeeeah, don’t you just love how eloquent I can be sometimes. (Cue audience groaning.) And I got a free poster too~ so that’s cool, even though my mother wouldn’t let me put anything on the walls because that would spoil the paint, which makes no sense because the poster will be covering that part of the wall anyway. But I’m not going to give a damn, especially when my Kickstarter scratch maps come in.

I bought this on a whim because hazelnuts are delicious and I wanted to know how hazelnut milk would taste like and omg, I love this. Buuuut it’s not really healthy because apparently agave syrup is even worse than sugar in terms of fructose content or something. I’m not that sure, but hey, it’s a pretty good indulgence once in a while.

And because Halloween is right around the corner, this week has been Tim Burton week, wherein I watch Halloween-ish movies and not actually creepy horror films because I will cry and whimper in my bed and be traumatised and jumpy and no one wants that. (Or at least I don’t.)
So Monday was The Nightmare Before Christmas :D Which is as scary as opening a Jack in the Box, haha, but very adorable. I thought Jack’s wonder and amazement at the sight of Christmas Town was both adorable and also slightly heartbreaking because idk, I’m not a Christmas-y person myself, but looking at the utter joy he seems to radiate makes me wistful because we don’t celebrate it in my house and now I’m too cynical to stare wide-eyed at the festive decorations and customs.

Tuesday was Corpse Bride, also scored by Danny Elfman, and a zero on the scary scale as well. I know that Victor and Victoria are supposedly in love with one another, but the thing about the character development and plot, there’s really very little that can convince me that they’d make a good pair. I mean, Emily seem to have more in common with Victor, leaving out the fact that she’s technically dead and necrophilia is gross.

I got sidetracked on Wednesday and rewatched Pulp Fiction even though Edward Scissorshand was next on the list. Tonight shall be Sleepy Hollow and I’ll end it with Beetlejuice tomorrow.

The wifi was being cruel and fickle so there were long span of days without any internet and I entertained myself with fanfiction and Dragon Age: Origins. Mainly DA:O than the fanfic part. I am going to finish the game this time around, I swear. The previous time, I was halfway through, and nearing the end when my laptop died and for some reason, cloud save didn’t work, or I misunderstood the point of cloud saving/I’m an idiot, so I had to replay the entire game and that’s a bit tedious because slaughtering hundreds of the same monsters gets repetitive after a while and you hate restarting as a complete loser without any real offensive power as compared to later on in the game.

It’s only Thursday, but I’m really anticipating the weekend. I’ll be going down for the Nanowrimo kickoff party on Saturday and on Sunday, I’ll be watching my friend perform :D So yeah, that’d be fun! (I’m psyching myself so I don’t act like some awkward kid at the kickoff party because I don’t know anyone going, and ugh, socializing is not an area I excel in.)

they say I’m just a stupid kid

 Here’s the moral to the story
We don’t do it for the glory
We don’t do it for the money
We don’t do it for the fame
So all the critics who despise us
Go ahead and criticize us
It’s your tyranny that drives us
Adds the fire to our flames

This song would have been my anthem if it came out a little earlier than 2008, when I was in that phase, you know, rebellious, know-it-all, cynical and jaded wannabe punk. But hey, the lyrics still resonate with me really well, so I guess you can’t bury the stupid kid anymore than you can be buried by that stupid kid.

altar post

So I cleaned and reorganized my altar the other day~ :D

Comparatively, my altar is humble and pretty eclectic. I wouldn’t say that the tools I have are unorthodox, in the sense that I follow the traditional layouts – the five elements are represented here albeit a little strangely. There’s a bottle, rather than a chalice/goblet to signify water, a metal crane (taken from one of my necklaces) for air, a stick (because I don’t have a wand) to symbolise fire and a pentacle for earth.

I think the most expensive thing on my altar would be my Anubis statue, which I specially got it handmade because Anubis is my patron deity, or at least I’m requesting him to be, though in some traditions, it is apparently not the done thing to initiate contact directly, and followers should wait to be chosen. The way I see it, given that I have little godphone abilities, it’d never happen so better to take action myself.

And of course, my layout is such that the right side is to worship the Lady, and the left side for the Lord, hence the gold and silver candles on the respective sides and there’s the little offering plate in the middle.

Of course, the whole point of the altar is to worship a particular deity, and the tools on the altar are supposed to aid you on your path. I know that some people think that fancy tools are necessary in order to practise the religion, or that altars are supposed to look more grand, but I think that tools are ultimately merely tools, they’re to help you guide your focus and gather your concentration to exert your will, and it doesn’t matter if your tool isn’t exactly crafted under the magical moonlight on the ides of march or handed down to you by generations of practising witches, because the tool is only acting as a channel/conduit, and you’re the main star. It took me a while to get to here, because I used to think that it’s essential that everything has to be perfect and you need the exact tool for whatever task/ritual you want to perform, and for a very long time, I felt restricted and I held back, but I got my head out of my arse and yeah, made do with what I had, on my budget and improvised however I could.

Salmonberry Origins; Avu

Another Salmonberry Origins scent, this time it’s a floral feminine scent named Avu.

Description: “Avu” is the Inupiaq Eskimo name of my favorite tundra flower. After spring has arrived and the snow has retreated the business of Growing begins in a frenzy. In the arctic the growth period is very short as the warm summer months are very brief, so the vibrant blooms all vie for attention in a colorful scent loaded symphony of floral notes. The wind gathers up the scents and dances them across the tundra…

Yup, what I get from this particular scent is merely sweet and light, nothing overpowering or annoying, not like how some particular flowers are, like the sharpness of tuberose or the greenness of violets and lilies. Instead, it’s soft and wispy, like an ethereal dream.

Today’s pick wasn’t by a random number generator, instead I was browsing around YouTube randomly and this particular song popped up on my recommended feed because I’m totally a fangirl for these two amazing singers. The male vocals are by Sodagreen’s 青峰 and the female vocals are by folk singer 萨顶顶. (Seriously, they have awesome voices, I love the rounded tones and how well defined each note is and the atmosphere they create~ so so so biased, ahaha.)

Despite the wuxia scenes (because the song is an mv for the film Reign of Assassins), the song isn’t about fighting or anything.

Roughly, it begins with the flower that sprouted from a seed many years ago, and blooms beautifully in the face of adversity. While the stones have crumbled over 500 years, the flower lives on just for another glimpse of your face. The flower will wait years and nowhere is to far for it. Forgetting and letting go off all love and hate, it will make its home wherever you are, and fear nothing because it is a flower that is able to move freely. (Fuck, my mandarin skills are deteriorating…) But yeeeeeaaaaah, something along these lines, okay OTL.