on the path of winding


Depending on who you are, there are things I’d never talk to you about, but sometimes I get the opportunity to chat with people who are completely uninvested in you – in the sense that you don’t exactly care what they’d think of you or what they expect of you/the mental image that they have of you. And it’s so freeing, it’s like therapy or something, though you might not get useful advice from them. But it’s still catharsis in a sense, and I think just by talking things through with an acquaintance, I understand my own motivations behind everything that I do, and here are a couple of them:

– I’m genuinely not interested in most people.

– I’m scared of commitment and if it’s possible to leave everything behind and go elsewhere without considering any other factor, I’d do so.

– I see too many people as possible sources of burden.

– I’m afraid of falling seriously sick and not being able to die.

Holistic Tarot

Designed for beginning as well as experienced tarot readers, Holistic Tarot offers a fresh and easy-to-follow approach to the use of the tarot deck for tapping into subconscious knowledge and creativity. The tarot deck has been used as a divination tool for more than two centuries; while the tarot is still most commonly thought of as “fortune telling,” the true power of the tarot lies in its ability to channel a clear path for our deep intuition to shine through. Consulting the tarot can help clear creativity blockages, clarify ambitions, work through complex decisions, and make sense of emotions and relationships. Whether used for simple decision-making or an understanding of your life’s purpose, learning tarot can be an indispensible tool for being more mindful of the factors that can assist or weaken your efforts toward success.

In Holistic Tarot, author Benebell Wen provides a complete guide to using the tarot to foster personal development. Wen gives a comprehensive overview of the history of the tarot and a wide array of theories on its use (including its relationship to Jungian archetypal psychology and traditional Chinese divination practices) before digging deeply into one of the best-known tarot systems, the Rider-Waite-Smith. Beginners will find a complete guide to working with the tarot, including choosing and caring for a deck, how best to learn and remember the attributes of the major and minor arcana, the interpretation of cards and spreads, the role of meditation in a tarot practice, and how to use the tarot for improving relationships, professional development, and personal resilience. More advanced practitioners will appreciate nuanced theoretical discussions of the tarot as well as practical advice about reading others’ tarot cards and setting up a practice. Containing over 500 illustrations and detailed information on each card as well as numerous spreads, Holistic Tarot is a complete compendium of tarot study that every practitioner should have in his or her library.

Note to self: please get this and start brushing up on your skills.

I actually saw this at Kinokuniya on Friday, and I was pretty tempted to get it, except it weighs a ton and I believe I will be able to get it online at a much cheaper price. Benebell Wen’s Holistic Tarot is targeted at readers of all levels, but I think that intermediate readers would be able to get more of out of the book. The table of contents suggest that this book is just jam packed with information, and dude, I don’t doubt that this is going to be one of those ‘read from cover to cover’ and ‘highlight the shit out of the pages’ type of guide, as there is just a lot of areas being covered in the book.

Things I Love Thursday

Yeeeeah, I’m kind of on time this week??

– It was my brother’s birthday last weekend, so we went to eat Korean BBQ and also because his kid demanded it, we went for Bing Bing Ice Cream Gallery as well. It was pretty fun, and well, it had been quite a while since we went out together, I guess.

– Because it’s the 5th week of the month, I don’t really have piano teaching this weekend! … Just need to do 2 make up lessons though, so that will take me about an hour, but I don’t have to wake up early!!! Omg, I can sleep in~ Plus, I can use the piano freely after lesson, which I usually take advantage of because my house doesn’t have air-conditioning in the living room, where my piano is located.

– My Fall 2015 & Halloween 2015 perfumes from Sixteen92 are here~ This order was from The Circle subscription, and it’s awesome that Claire has included the Halloween collection as an extra bonus, considering that the subscription was only going to cover seasonal releases.

Fall 2015 is based on songs with a spooky bent~ and man, I love the titles! :D Haven’t tried anything out yet, but the descriptions for Spellbound and Lucretia, My Reflection seem amazing and totally up my alley and into my front door. I’ll be reviewing them in September, since that’s where autumn starts, in my ‘stuck with only one boring summer season’ brain.

Halloween 2015 is based on the witches and dark ladies of myths and legends, totally fitting for Halloween~ Black Annis and Hecate might be my favourites of the lot, but I won’t know till I try them out. These will be reviewed in October, because Halloween month, duh.

– Oh, and did you notice the cute nendoroids~ I got a few more in the mail the other day. And when I say got them in the mail, I meant going down to the post office and collecting them myself and hauling a huge box home while hoping the train staff or the police won’t stop me because I’m carrying a suspicious bulky item. I don’t know why I bother choosing EMS delivery when no one will be home to accept the package anyway?! But luckily, my boss is kind enough to let me get to work late so that I can collect my mail and drop it off at home before heading to work.

Currently, I have 7 of them on-hand, pre-ordered 5 more and 1 is currently making its way over… yeah, I am developing a problem here, you guise.

– Decided to snag the Esplanade White Card because:
 Like, I actually do go to quite a number of concerts. Not as many as I’d like to, because while my body and mind is definitely willing, time and money are my foes.

I am planning to go for a couple of SIFA’s events though, mainly because c’mon, it’s Winterreise. I love it, and I studied Six Characters in Search of An Author for a literature module once, and I’d love to see it being played out.

And since we’re on the subject, STRATOVARIUS’ new album, Eternal is coming out next month, and I am in love with this new song, Shine in the Dark:
The chorus is definitely catchy and the entire song is easy to sing along, and idk what the long-time fans think, because I’m probably going to enjoy the new album.

Also, if I’m not wrong, Tarja’s classical album is also coming out in September! :D Call me biased, but I’m sure it will be ah-mazing and brilliant because holy smokes, this lady is the first voice I’ve heard in the symphonic metal genre, and I was hooked from the first time I heard her sing Ever Dream:

“All I ever craved were the two dreams I shared with you.
One I now have, will the other one ever dream remain.
For yours I truly wish to be.”

temperance

this older (by a decade) coworker of mine constantly complains about how she was tricked into accepting this job – her main reason for leaving her previous job was due to the long working hours, and she had wanted to get more ‘work-life balance’ as she has two small children to look after. Apparently her current boss had assured that there was plenty of work-life balance in her new role, and as such, she took on this new job.

However, she did not consider that someone else’s definition of work-life balance might not coincide with her own, and thus, her whining started, and well, somehow I’m a good listener, in the sense, I just nod at all the right places and make placating sounds. Because, dude, I’m not in that situation, and I get to leave office on time mostly. The longest OT I’ve had to do was about 2 hours plus, which is not comparable to people doing accounts/finance, who routinely have to pull long hours whenever the accounts are due or whatever deadlines are set.

The issue is that her current boss is married but childless, and she doesn’t seem to have quite a lot of hobbies, so her spare time is spent working and working – she sends out emails in the middle of the night, texts her subordinates during the weekend to ask them work-related questions etc. I mean, yeah, she’s hardworking and dedicated to her job, but as a boss, you’re just making life stressful for your subordinates, especially if you expect them to be on-call 24/7. They’re working for a company, not selling their souls, I think their down time should be respected and you shouldn’t ask them to do work when it’s out of their working hours.

lonely hearts club | a mixtape for the ones left behind


because I recognize that telling the truth is hard (maybe not for you, but for me, I need my walls of lies and secrets, but I’m trying for equivalent exchange here)

01 can’t help falling in love (piano cover)

02 sam smith – not in that way
(I’d never ask you ’cause deep down I’m certain I know what you’d say / you’d say, “I’m sorry, believe me, I love you but not in that way”)

03 bon iver – I can’t make you love me
(and I will give up this fight… / cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t)

04 jason walker feat molly reed – down
(and I’m tired of waiting / waiting here in line, hoping that I’ll find what I’ve been chasing)

05 a great big world feat christina aguilera – say something
(anywhere I would’ve followed you / say something, I’m giving up on you)

06 something corporate – this broken heart
(this broken heart was stronger than / the words I wish you never meant)

07 taylor swift – forever and always
(it rains when you’re here and it rains when you’re gone / ’cause I was there when you said forever and always)

Sixteen92; Birthday Collection

As usual, I’m late to the game, so Sixteen92’s Birthday Collection is no longer available on the site.


To be honest, I wouldn’t actually have bought the Birthday Collection sample set if I wasn’t already making a purchase, i.e my EdP of Paper Moon & full sized version of Theda, but since I was already going to pay for shipping plus I had a discount code, I decided that my wallet could take the hit, so ta-dah. However, I must say that I’ve moved away from gourmet sweet scents (and moving into florals and ouds), and this collection is full of chocolate and pastry and very sweet things. Oh well, a bit of sugar does everyone good, right?

The After Party: Chocolate espresso truffle cake with marshmallow filling topped with dark chocolate ganache
The After Party is definitely chocolately, with the slight pairing of coffee, and strong buttermilk. The chocolate note is smooth and creamy, like biting into a Lindt Lindor truffle and having the chocolate oozing out.

I don’t think the marshmallow note is prominent enough to come through on my skin, since the mix of chocolate and coffee stay on me until the scent fades to nothing in about an hour or so.

The Pool Party: Fluffy white cake with a pineapple-citrus compote filling sprinkled with toasted coconut
This one reminds me somewhat of a pineapple tart, with a fizzy pineapple-y sort of scent dominating the opening. I’m actually quite impressed with how realistic the pineapple smell is. I can faintly detect the coconut note underneath the citrus and pineapple combination, especially once the cake part sort of dies down. However, as the scent completely dries down, there’s a slight plasticky smell, which kind of reminds me of suntan lotion?? Idk, my current sunscreen is fragrance-free, so I have no idea where my impression came from.

The Princess Party: Orange petit fours with fluffy whipped vanilla cream filling and a caramelized brown butter glaze covered with pink fondant
Yup, this one definitely reminds me of one of those artificial orange sponge cake things… and also that satsuma scent from The Body Shop. Nothing offensive or particularly special about this one, though. It’s just plain fizzy orange cake on my skin.

The Masquerade Party: Spiced pumpkin cake filled with toasted pecans and topped with maple buttercream
Pumpkin, pumpkin, and more pumpkin. Oh, and did I mention spiced pumpkin? Actually, the pumpkins that I smelled in real life and eaten in dishes never had any sort of smell to them. So where did my notion of how a ‘pumpkin’ smells like come from? Definitely all the Halloween/Autumn indie perfumes that I buy over the years. But yeah, what pecans and what maple buttercream? This one is all the pumpkin + cinnamon/nutmeg on my skin all the time.

The Tea Party: Vanilla almond birthday cake topped with Earl Grey buttercream
ACK. ALMOND is my DEATH note. No, not Death Note as in that notebook toting guy and his kinky partner, I mean, sugar obsessed rival, but a note in a perfume blend that will automatically kill the perfume. The earl grey/bergamot in this perfume managed to salvage a bit of this scent, but it’s not prominent enough and if I sniff any harder, the almond is going to kill me.

冥府の弓矢


Not the official poster for the film, but it looks nicer, in my opinion.

Anyway, I dragged a friend to watch the live action version of Attack on Titan, because I didn’t really want to watch this on my own. Considering that I haven’t read the manga/watched the anime, I was hoping that this would be a gateway for me to get into the series, but frankly, this movie wasn’t good enough to do that.

(I didn’t bother reading the original manga/watching the anime because it was too srs bzn for me at that point in time. I was pretty much stressed out and angsty about life, and I didn’t need to watch more depressing material where everyone dies. But I must admit that I really liked the anime’s opening theme: Guren no Yumiya. It’s by Linked Horizon, which is a side project of Revo’s Sound Horizon, so of course it sounds amazing.)

Anyway, back to the live action movie, spoilers ahoy, although idk, I don’t think the people who may chance across this blog will watch the movie.

Good points:
– In general, I did like the fighting scenes, especially the parts where they get to fly through the air with their ODMG (Omni Directional Mobility Gear or something??) I thought Mikasa looked pretty cool, which was such an improvement from her early ‘quiet/needed-to-be-protected’ personality. Competency is fucking attractive, you guys, who knew, eh. (It’s just me, I have a competence kink.)

– The soundtrack was pretty decent. I was kind of hoping that they’d slip in some Guren no Yumiya, like a nod towards the anime fans who’d probably watch this, but nope. But yeah, the soundtrack wasn’t too bad.

– The Titans look pretty grotesque and can be kind of creepy, so yeah, points there, I guess, for the special effects and stuff. In fact, some of them, with their wide mouths and sharp teeth, remind me of the Japanese urban legend creature, the Kuchisake Onna (Slit-Mouth Woman)…

Neutral things:

– I’m ambivalent about the fact that they have changed the original story line, since I never read the original, and I can’t exactly compare, but detractors would say that by changing the source, the movie is no longer relevant, whereas others might enjoy the fresh take on a familiar story.

– Maybe because there is a second movie coming out, but I found the storyline for this part to be fairly weak.

The plot: Eren is annoyed that he’s stuck behind the Wall, and wants to explore the world outside. His ‘wish’ is granted, in a sense, when Titans breach the Wall and start to rain destruction on their district. He sees his potential love interest, Mikasa, being grabbed by a Titan, and he thinks she died, so in the aftermath, he joins the military to try and kill the Titans.

Two years of training skip by, and he, along with his bff, Armin, plus other random useless people, they go on a ‘suicide mission’ to retrieve hidden explosives that they can use to plug the hole in the Wall. However, they have shitty luck and traitors in their midst because the explosives got stolen and then rendered useless and it feels like a hopeless situation. Mikasa plus someone who is supposed to be Levi (??) are thrown in the mix, and then Eren gets swallowed by a Titan, and then gains the inhuman ability to turn into a Titan, and he starts to fight the rest of the Titans for them, and then passes out. Cue trailer for next film.

Look, the plot is so cliched and so little things actually take place!

Bad points:
– So many fucking useless scenes that don’t even add anything to the story line. I’m sorry, but when you’re in a life and death situation where you may be eaten at any moment, why the fuck are you thinking about the baser things in life, like sex?!? Hello, giants out there want to eat you for lunch and you’re thinking of getting chummy with each other?! Where are your priorities, people. Also, when there’s a huge monstrous creature standing before you with their rows of sharp teeth gleaming, don’t just stand there, run or hide or play dead, ffs. Geez, how is the human race going to survive.

– Lack of actual character development. I don’t know anything about the original, but the characters in the film have absolutely no personalities. A couple or so of them may have little quirks to make them more memorable or interesting, but ultimately everyone is as flat as an oppo smartphone, which is supposed to be 4.85mm thick.

Moving along, there are some things that did intrigue me:
– The General (??) in the movie rebuked Armin for being interested in advanced technology, asking him to recall what happened when humans had advanced technology, i.e our era, I guess (so AoT is set in the far future?), and Armin replied that there was man-made destruction of nature and war and basically bad stuff. Plus the trailer for the second movie hinted that Eren had the ability to turn into a Titan because he was experimented on by his parents. Which made me wonder if the Titans were some sort of failed experiments by previous generations that eventually got out of hand.

– The Titans are the antagonists, only up to a certain extent, because I bet the high ranking folks in the military are the actual baddies who can somehow control the Titans or something, because the stolen explosives had to be an inside job.

– Armin might become a badass inventor?? I hope at least he will survive because dude looks really weak and useless when it comes to fighting. He seems more like the blacksmith/artisan swordmaker type.

– Is the Captain Levi substitute a good guy? Seems dubious to me, since he’s watching from the sidelines instead of joining the fray near the end of the movie. Plus, his apple eating scenes? What, not afraid Ryuk’s going to sue you for stealing his trademark?

Things I Love Thursday

This has been a week of sleep deprivation.

I went to catch Fantastic Four with a friend even though I heard how terribad this movie was. And yeah, it was pretty meh, and the only saving grace is that I had someone to snark with and make silly comments. The tickets were free, because firstly, it was a company event, and my boss had purchased the tickets for his family, but since his kids were unable to make it due to school, I got two free tickets instead.

But back to the movie, there were so many bad points I don’t even know where to start, but omg, everything about this film was just tacky, face-palming piece of mess. Seriously, Marvel, you’d put your name to this… this thing?! (no pun intended.) I’m not even fond of the cartoon series that was made during my childhood.

Also, another work related thing: Thank the gods that the team building event is finally fucking over. It was definitely not fun organizing this event, in fact, in comparison, the Christmas party last year was a cakewalk. We had so many issues with this one, budget, HR + procurement issues, vendors, my partner-in-crime etc. But ffs, it’s over and I’m so freaking glad that I’d probably never be arrow-ed for the rest of my stay with this department.

In the unlikely event that you’re interested in what we did for team building, we basically built a go-kart thing within groups and had a mini race in the freaking sun.

In less depressing real life news (or is it more depressing?), I’m still totally enamored with Fire Emblem: Awakening. I’ve managed to pair up enough characters so that their kids will exist in the story, hooray. And also, kind of weird-creepy.

My Sixteen92 order came in the mail~ and there’s my EdP bottle of Paper Moon, which smells amazing, along with a full size bottle of Theda and a sample set of Sixteen92’s Birthday collection. I’ll be reviewing the whole Birthday collection this Saturday, just to make up for the lack of perfumery posts these days, but I’ve been too boring with my choices in perfumes these days. It’s always either Elie Saab’s Le Couture or Serge Lutens’ line.

One of the piano kids introduced me to this game: Deemo. It looks pretty cute, the music is generally quite pleasant, and c’mon, I am a sucker for these kind of tap tap music games. Plus, it appears that this game does have a story line of some sort as well. That’s definitely a bonus point.

And hey there, I got two new critters:
To be honest, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to pick up Cynthia, but since I pre-ordered N, I thought I might as well just get Cynthia and make it a set of some sort.

And here’s Araragi Koyomi~ I mainly just love his ahoge :D Yeah, my table is a mess though.

and anchor this lost soul | a mixtape for quiet peace

01 Ólafur Arnalds – Ljósið

02 Rufus Wainwright – Hallelujah
(it’s not somebody who’s seen the light | it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah)

03 The Beatles – Hey Jude (Across the Universe version)
(hey jude, don’t make it bad | take a sad song and make it better)

04 The Perishers – Trouble Sleeping
(I’ve never cared too much about honesty)

05 Nightwish – White Night Fantasy
(crestfallen soul, rest for this night | love is here, right here under my wings)

06 Coldplay – The Scientist
(questions of science, science and progress | do not speak as loud as my heart)

07 Patrick Wolf – Teignmouth (live)
(this constant yearning for great love and learning | for the wind to carry me free)

shu uemura; skin: fit foundation

Not too recently ago, I bought a new foundation to test out, and it’s shu uemura’s skin: FIT foundation, the latest in their foundation line. It’s a bi-phase formula, so the bottle needs to be shaken before use, so that the powder and liquid will blend together. The foundation is said to be inspired by the traditional mizu oshiroi (water foundation), which are used by maikos.

The formula is lightweight and it definitely makes you feel as though you’re not really wearing any foundation at all, which is what I look for in all my foundation, since I don’t really need a lot of coverage. The SPF 30 PA+++ is also higher than the two foundations in my rotation, so that’s good too, since I really do need the SPF coverage nowadays, thanks to a new AHA facial cleanser I’m using, which supposedly increases sun sensitivity. So yes, this foundation would be good for our hot weather, since you don’t feel like you’re dumping products on your face and making your skin feel clogged up. It also lasts pretty long, up to 8 hours and counting on me, though they did promise 12 hours of wear on their website.

This would be my new holy grail foundation, except it takes way too long to use in the morning, thanks to the application sponge that comes along with the foundation. I’ve tried using a beauty blender, but it doesn’t seem to blend as nicely as the sponge, but the downside of using a sponge is that I tend to waste more product, since the foundation gets absorbed into the sponges. Also, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find it to be exactly sweat-proof….??