Things I Love Thursday

Well, it’s been a while – it’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about, it’s just I haven’t really been in the mood to post anything.

Long weekend ahoy~ Except yes, piano teaching on Saturday plus tuition on Sunday, but I’m kind of used to it and slowly I’m brainwashing myself into enjoying my weekend stints as a long-suffering, extremely sarcastic but generally relaxed teacher. I only hope my students think I’m cool too. (Why yes, I like to seek the approval of my students, because apparently one of them thinks I’m nice even though I’m not pretty, geez I didn’t know teaching piano requires good looks too, amirite.)

Got my Mi Pad a couple of weeks back :D It’s named sylveon, and it’s kind of a ‘matched’ pair with the Kindle, which is named umbreon (so much cooler than just being _boss’ name_). Of course, with any new gadget, it has eaten much of my attention, and can I just mention, how much easier it is to bring my scores with me around, especially when I’m going to piano class and I don’t want to lug a bunch of books around, what with my short attention span.

Plus, other than just being good for reading scores and pdfs, I’ve downloaded a couple of games to tide me over when my internet is shit and I need something to occupy my attention. And because I’m secretly a geriatric, the things I play are Wordsearch and True or False – I like knowing that my cache of random facts are useful for something. For instance, J. Lo is a New Yorker, didja know that? (I didn’t actually, until I got the question wrong.)

 Thanks to Twitter, I now know that Josh Groban has a new album out, and it’s full of songs from Broadway. Cue my delighted squeal because why not? Josh Groban not only can sing brilliantly, he’s cute (those curls and dat smile) and possesses a fantastic sense of humour. He’s like a dream guy that people can bring home to meet their parents and be praised by them for making good life choices. (Sorry, I know he’s an actual person with real life personality and flaws and good qualities, he’s not a Ken doll.)

Goodies in the mail – Sixteen92’s Spring Collection is here and I love how unique everything smells! My favourites: The Orchard Keeper and The Sound and the Fury. I will probably do actual reviews for them sometime soon.

 Savor Soap’s has the fastest turnabout time and shipping timeframe I’ve seen in a while. Everything was nicely shrink wrapped and the ingredients were clearly labelled. The soaps were soft and creamy, and moisturizing enough that I don’t feel bad about skipping body lotion because who has time to slather lotion on their skin daily?! I mean, I only make the effort once in a few weeks because I don’t want to waste my body butters.

 Had a 10% coupon code for Escentials so I headed down to Paragon last weekend to sample a bunch of perfumes, even though I already knew that I was going to get Acqua di Parma’s Rosa Nobile. A delicate citrus-y floral, nicely straddling spring and summer.

 Also went to catch Marvel’s latest superheroes flick – Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was fun flick, because c’mon, it’s written by Joss Whedon, who gets a free pass in my book. But while it was enjoyable, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I really liked it a whole bunch, because it feels like the storyline is too cliched, and seriously, I don’t think I quite like the character development explored in this film. (Why must there be a romance subplot, why can’t everyone be like in The Strawhats where it’s all platonic friendships only? Leave the romance to fanworks, alright?)

 Oh Swery, I’ve only seen bits of Deadly Premonition and D4, but I would love to sit down and pick your brain, also because of you, I now want to check out Twin Peaks, despite knowing that it has been a cult classic. (I never really got around to doing so because the quality is so dated, since it was produced in the early 90s.) But yes, I will now get around to it, I promise, just to see all the influence the show had on the games.


exit, pursued by a bear

what is this fleeting notion of happiness and why do we try to chase after wisps and bits of it, like a junkie craving for a fix.

the pursuit of happiness itself is paved with good intentions but all it leads to is a colourless existence, in the sense that you’re so busy trying to find ways to be happy that you forget to simply exist in the moment.

since emotionally, happiness is a high point, eventually the payoff just decreases and over time, you’d find that it’s harder for you to feel happy. in contrast, I think what we need is the ability to be content, and that’s much harder to be, because being content means learning acceptance – to accept that there are limits, to accept that something is good enough already. and that goes against everything we’re told since we were young. we were taught to push boundaries, to dare to dream and go out there brandishing swords in the name of justice and that do or do not, there is no try.

maybe I’m just feeling very cynical and jaded, maybe there’s a voice locked up inside my head screaming that happiness is not a lie, which, I’m not implying it is, I’m just saying that the payoff isn’t good enough for me.

also, I apologize for the lame joke because apparently my mind likes to make weird associations with words.

the stuff of stars

“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it?”
[- Professor Richard Dawkins]

I wish I had my own madman with a box, and the first place I would choose to go would be to see the birth of a solar system. Nothing else would ever matter, nothing else would be comparable to such a moment, and I won’t pretend to comprehend all the science behind the Big Bang, but purely on an emotional, less cerebral plane, I would imagine either becoming super inspired or super depressed by my own insignificance in this entire universe.

When we look at the universe around us, we notice that everything seems to be moving away from each other. Imagine if you drew a few dots in marker on a balloon and started to blow it up, you’d notice every point moving away from every other point as the balloon expands. This is exactly what space is doing, it seems to be expanding.

So a bunch of scientists got to thinking, if everything is expanding away from each other, what if we ran time backwards? Where is everything expanding FROM? Is there a point at which the entire universe was collapsed into a single point that exploded and caused everything to expand outward?

An explosion generates a lot of heat and energy when it goes off and we even think we’ve detected some of the heat from the giant big bang explosion in something called Cosmic Microwave Background, which is really just another way of saying heat.

Also, by looking at how fast everything is moving away, we can easily see how far we need to rewind for everything to be in the same place, 13.7 billion years. This is how we arrive at the age of the universe. (source)

please mr postman, look and see

Extremely frivolous materialism abound in this post as this is all about the things I’m anticipating in the mail. I love getting mail as long as they’re not bills to be paid. Those, I can do without, thanks very much.

01 Beautybay order
Made a smallish haul because I had a coupon code and they sold me on the free international shipping part. Also finally I will be trying out the much raved brow pomade from Anastasia Beverley Hills and lip tars from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics :D

02 Xiaomi Mi Pad
This was what my brother recommended when I said I was interested in getting a tablet, mainly for reading ebooks and music scores, and being the impulsive shopper, I told him to help me get one. It’s probably an iPad clone, but it’s affordable and reviews of the tablet seem pretty favourable. Though now that the big boss gave me him Kindle, I don’t really need a tablet anymore, but the order was placed last week… Oh well, having more gadgets isn’t really a hardship.

03 Surrender to Chance perfume samples
Surrender to Chance is where I get all my samples and decants because they have affordable prices and shipping, and also they give out coupon codes pretty often. This time, they were having their anniversary sale, and because I was, and still am, enamored with Kurkdjian’s A La Rose, I went ahead and got a 5 ml decant. Of course, I bought a bunch of other stuff as well, you know, to justify for shipping.

04 2 Sixteen92 orders
I am in love with Sixteen92’s aesthetics and products, and her branding is very professionally done. Add to the fact that her Spring Collection is inspired by literature, and I’m sold.

THE GRASS HARP: Orange blossom, clover, hyacinth, ruby red grapefruit, sweet basil

THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER: Tuberose absolute, soft skin musk, oakmoss, fresh earth, vanilla, iris

THE ORCHARD KEEPER: Night blooming Jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood

THE SOUND AND THE FURY: Southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam

WISE BLOOD: Champaca absolute, tuberose, white pepper, orris root, guaiacwood, cardamom

I’m definitely most interested in trying out The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

For once, my time zone is an advantage! Because despite being late to the game, I still managed to snag a subscription to The Circle:

The Circle is an annual subscription service featuring seasonal & limited edition fragrances open to new subscribers once per year.

Members of The Circle will enjoy:

Exclusive first-look access to all four seasonal collections beginning with Summer 2015, plus an additional limited edition collection in the Fall.
Coupon codes with each seasonal delivery to use on a fragrance item from that season’s release.
An exclusive Limited Edition 5.5mL fragrance crafted just for Circle members.
A single subscription fee for an annual membership. No recurring charges & no per-box shipping fees (pay one small flat-rate shipping charge when you place your order and we will take care of the rest!).

To be honest, I was mainly sold by the fact that shipping was a one-off thing because international shipping is terribly expensive these days!

Also, I trust Claire and her amazingly cool vision :D

05 Blackbird Cosmetics order
This is a relatively new indie brand, and idk, I know I don’t need more eyeshadows, but these are different! These are matte and pressed shadows, not exactly something I have in my collection! :D

So many things in the mail, so much time to wait.

Things I Love Thursday

 To be honest, the new Nightwish album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, did not dazzle me when I first listened to it. Unlike Imaginaerum, I didn’t instinctively felt drawn to any of the songs, though they were enjoyable. But over time, with repeated plays of individual songs, I’m quite fond of the album as a whole, and I’ll have to disagree with the detractors who think that Floor’s voice was underutilized. In fact, in some songs, Floor’s voice reminded me of Tarja, that same vocal range and expressiveness. Also, fuck, Edema Ruh is gorgeous and I need to reread the Kingkiller series.

How to make a commute less sucky: Playing games on my NDS, so here’s some games that have entertained me.

 Yes, it’s one of those free to play games with in-app purchases, but it’s fun and I’ve yet to spend a single cent on this, and that’s no liable to change. Basically Pokemon Shuffle is like… Bejeweled, except you get to swap far away pieces and there’s a Pokemon fighting and catching mechanism. It’s strangely enjoyable and also very frustrating when you have a 90% chance of catching a Pokemon, and you still fail.

 More Phoenix Wright~ Because who doesn’t want to be a poor. abused attorney who bluffs his way through court trials and has to investigate crime scenes on his own because the detective is useless? This guy here :D

 Recently, Lupicia opened a new branch in Vivocity, and being a fan of tea, of course I’d check it out.

I got myself a sampler bag first, just in case I didn’t like them, and I didn’t want to commit to a huge tin of tea leaves/bags right from the start. But hey, the teas were delicious :D And I can’t wait to go back for more. Seriously, Idk if they scented their tea bags because even when I’ve only opened the packet, I can smell the aroma of tea and the flavours.

In a random meeting with my bosses and the big boss, I mentioned offhandedly that I buy a lot of books and immediately the big boss offers to give me his old Kindle, since he has two, and he doesn’t have time to read. I thought he’d only mentioned it to look generous and likeable, but I was pleasantly surprised when he really passed his Kindle to me the next day. Like, dude, I thought he’d have forgotten all about it, but well, he says he didn’t want it back anymore, so here I am, a bemused owner of a Kindle Paperwhite.

And now it’s high time I went to bed otherwise I’ll just be a zombie tomorrow.

on mergers

My department recently got absorbed by a bigger department, like some sort of office anglerfish sort of thing, except idk, did we get anything out of this merger except more work?

Well yeah, my workspace got a ton smaller because of the lack of space in the new floor, I now have three bosses to answer to instead of just one, and I have more work to do now that one co-worker has been relocated to another subdivision and my other fellow temp has left.

On the good side, I have been extended for a reaaaally long period of time, okay, not really, it’s just 1 year, but at least for this upcoming year, I won’t have to worry about making ends meet, and I get to buy ludicrous space consuming things. Also, the new big boss promised to shift me over to their communications team once the project I’m working on has been stabilized.

Fingers crossed it’s not a dud or a waste of time.

it’s a beautiful lie

“You shouldn’t change your behavior because a government agency somewhere is doing the wrong thing. If we sacrifice our values because we’re afraid, we don’t care very much about those values.”

I think we all know in the backs of our minds that privacy, any forms of it, is actually non-existent. Google tracks our searches, reads our emails, knows basically too much about us, and people voluntarily put private information on social networking sites, like Facebook. So much personal information can be found online that I have read many cases of individuals being stalked or sent death threats due to the amount of personal information they have online. Hell, I’ve read about indie makeup business owners or indie beauty bloggers being harassed, and I don’t think the people doing the harassing are tech savvy.

But of course, we think that we’re being careful, we don’t put any revealing information about ourselves on the internet, but honestly? We’re just deluding ourselves.

get out

… It feels like every time I want to sit down properly and do something productive, I’m interrupted by all the minor things, and maybe subconsciously, I’m tired. Tired of putting thoughts into words, tired of reading or watching anything discussing heavier topics. Hence the unplanned hiatus because I actually drafted posts in my head but never got around to jotting things down physically or even electronically.

My life is now fixed around the routine of: wake up -> go to work -> return home -> stare at my computer screen and waste time on random things -> go to bed. Repeat ad nauseam.

Instead of just running through endless pages of online window shopping, scrolling through reddit posts of cat pictures and rewatching let plays because they’re so… easy and non-energy expending, how can I feel excited about things and the on-goings in my life?

It feels like I’ve reached this invisible barrier called ‘burnout’ without knowledge of how I got to this point exactly.