Every so often I get reminded of the importance of keeping my online persona separate from my real life person. And its becoming increasingly harder in this highly social-media-obsessed age where many people simply do not understand this concept. For them, facebook and twitter is synonymous with other normal social activities like txting your mates. But a few years or more ago, when terminology such as “tweeting” were not mainstream nor common place, it was actually quite the norm for us online bloggers and vloggers to keep a bit of a “low profile” on our online activities in our “real life”. Of course we interacted with fellow bloggers/vloggers/tweeters in the blogosphere but when it came to friends or colleagues from real life, it was as if our online persona’s did not exist. Like we had secret identities. Hence the choice of username was quite important as it was a representation of one’s identity. (Facebook had to go and fubar that idea out the window with their standard of using your real first and last name in your profile.. now ppl even sign up to twitter with their real names. Fools.)
I remember the days of regularly tweeting in secret, knowing that most people around me I interacted with on a regular basis had no idea about this cool little thing called twitter (and before that, it was blogging) which I used to blip (or blog) out random brain farts about anything and everything in my life to strangers-yet-somehow-friends from all over the world, and gain insight in return as I tuned in to their thoughts. It was refreshing. There was a liberating level of honesty gained by anonymity. I’m not talking honesty as in, here’s my address, my personal details, my bank details etc. But honesty in thought and emotion. What I “really” thought about something and how I felt personally. Sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly in a way that people rarely seem to share about in real life (or if they do, they do so foolishly – lamebook is a perfect exhibition of that). Particularly when it comes to the bad and the ugly. 😉
So before I get too carried away with nostalgia, where am I going with all this? Is this about the blogger’s paradox once again? I have visited this issue over and over again.. way back in 2003 and 2004 I blogged about this paradox. It hasn’t really been too much an issue the past few years, but maybe I have been lulled into a sense false security. I am aware that I have broken my own cardinal rule left, right and center. (This being, never to share anything identified by my username with people I meet in real life.) And with everyone around me being blatantly open about their online presences, it’s quite hard to maintain that kind of discipline. It’s all too tempting to want to share my creations, be it video or text, with people I meet IRL. Afterall, I am quite proud of some of them. But I am glad that I have held back sometimes. And I am reminded again of the importance in holding back, even when you feel that you trust a person, you never know. Because this is what I am discovering currently in a certain situation with a certain friend. I thought this person was trustworthy but now I am discovering she is not quite as.. reliable a friend.. as I thought. And I am quite glad I did not share my “online persona” with her. I am glad I have kept that line between online and offline. Yes it’s more work and maintenance, but I think its worth it and I think, for now, I need to remain disciplined.
(Edit: I just realised my last blog post was in January. Really.. how does 6 months go by just like that..)more » Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010 | 9 Comments »
So.. my rant for today is: make-up.
I seriously do not understand why girls feel the need to always wear make-up on a daily basis? I was pondering about this recently whilst out on the weekend with some friends – one was wearing sunglasses and being quite reluctant to take them off because she hadn’t applied any make-up that day. What’s with that?? What’s there to hide? Why be ashamed of your own face/eyes?
Personally, I hardly ever wear any make-up.. unless I’m going out in the evening for a special occasion or going clubbing. I mean, I do enjoy wearing make-up (it’s quite fun to experiment with), but for 90% of the time, I just Can’t. Be. Bothered! I’m quite happy with how I look au naturale, and to be honest, I’d prefer to let my skin (and eyes) breathe naturally without having my pores clogged and chemical gunk on my eyes 12 hours a day. I admit my eyes are a bit sensitive and prone to irritation from make-up, which probably plays a part in my reluctance to incorporate make-up in my daily routine, but still, even if that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t feel the need.
Beh. It’s not like I don’t care about my looks – I’m still quite the girly girl. I love wearing dresses/skirts and I always blow dry my hair for example. But I guess I just prioritise comfort over pandering to looks when it really doesn’t matter whether you have that bit of eyeliner on or not. On most normal days (eg going to work, casual socialising on the weekend, going to the park) my make-up routine includes all of “apply some blistex whilst on the train”.
Am I unusual in this mindset? It just struck me that it seems to be the social norm for girls to have some form of make-up applied in “everyday life”, because.. god forbid anyone see their real skin/eyes/lips! Seriously, if you want nice skin.. eat healthily, drink healthily, stop wasting time/money smoking & binge drinking and do something positive & productive like exercise!
/rant!more » Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009 | 6 Comments »
Recently I tweeted this fairly bold statement:
A txt in todays London paper completely sums up an attitude I despise in British culture: “Coffee shops are a poor substitute for the pub”
And recieved a questioning response from a follower:
Why’s that cause you such offense? Coffee shops are becoming the new pub after all and not everyone will be happy with that.
It made me ponder – why did that txt in the London paper create in me such a strong response? Perhaps I’m just becoming more opinionated in my old age. 😛 I was about to tweet a reply and then realised I most definitely would not be able to fit an adequate response within 140 chars. Lol. So seeing as it’s an issue I’ve often mulled and ranted (to my bf) on in the past, I thought it would be worth getting these thoughts written in a more succinct and coherent form here. Besides, I’m well overdue for a new blog post. 😉 But enough waffling.. what I really wanted to do here was answer the question.
I think initially it has much to do with my background and cultural upbringing. I come from Sydney, Australia, where the “cafe culture” is alive and thriving, and more specifically grew up within the ABC (Australian Born Chinese) sub-culture. If we wanted to meet up, we would first suggest any of the numerous cafe’s to meet for a coffee or meal and a chat. Although drinking is quite rife amongst many Australians, my circle of friends weren’t really into it that much – and if we wanted to go out and “party” we would go to a club to dance (like myself, many of my friends were also very into dancing). For me, socialising has always been about food (oh how we love good food), non-alcoholic beverages (eg coffee, hot chocolates, fresh juice smoothies etc) or some form of physical activity (dancing, sports, going to the beach, bush-walking, having a bbq.. whoops that’s food again).
So compare that to Britain, where first and foremost the average Brit’s idea of socialising involves alcohol and the pub. I have been here for nearly 4 years and still do not feel like I fit in with the whole drinking/pub culture. Everytime people mention the they’re going to pub.. well, to be honest I find the going to the pub extremely dull and boring. This is also largely due to the fact that I actually dislike the taste of almost all alcoholic beverages. So why go and force myself to drink something I dislike whilst watching others get roaring drunk and generally making fools of themselves? I would much rather sit in a cosy warm cafe on comfy chairs (who wants to stand the whole night?) and relish over some good coffee and great conversation. Heck, I’d rather sit and watch paint dry. 😛
I also have a very strong disapproval towards binge drinking. It’s a chronic problem in this country and it’s not something Brits should be proud of. Just this morning I read an article in the Metro that stated in a recent European poll, a survey of 35 countries, found the UK had the third-highest number of 15 and 16-year-olds with an alcohol problem. And I believe this problem is inherently due to the mindset of the British culture. The mindset that drinking to excess is cool and fun and even something to boast about. If this is the impression adults give, what other model do the younger generations have to go by? And that txt sent in seemed to really encapsulate this thinking.
To put some additional perspective on my rant, it’s not that I never drink or completely disapprove of drinking. I can enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage over a meal (have started to enjoy a spot of wine with some good pasta or meat, and am not adverse to a bit of Italian Limoncello following a tasty italian meal). I might even go for 1 drink at a bar/pub occasionally for the sake of conversing with friends or to celebrate a birthday. And if I go clubbing, I may enjoy a drink (preferably something tasty like a mojito) to kick off the festivities of the night (though no more than 1 or at most 2 because drinking and (serious) dancing most definitely do NOT mix). But I think my idea of alcoholic beverage consumption is more closely aligned with that of much of continental Europe. Probably one of the reasons I seem to always feel more at home when I’m over there. It is something to be enjoyed on occasion, in small amounts, and usually to complement good food.more » Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009 | 10 Comments »
Feeling extremely deflated at the moment. Sometimes I don’t know why I bother putting so much effort into trying to do (and not only do, but excel at) so many things at once. Sometimes I am so busy I don’t even have the time to pee. Life (not to mention my bladder) would be much more relaxed if perhaps I stopped trying to be superwoman. Stopped trying to have my cake and eat it too. (But I do so love a good vanilla cheesecake.. mmm…)
Meh. It’s late.. again. I never go to bed early enough. I’m always tired. I don’t have time to go to the gym anymore – I haven’t even been to my once a week yoga class in 2 weeks (which means I’m wasting money on gym membership fees). I haven’t been to hiphop dance class in a month and a half (which means I’m also wasting money on my dance studio membership fees). My neck and shoulders have knots the size of large boulders and are a constant discomfort/pain. I am struggling with RSI in my right wrist (the tendons are inflamed). I am almost constantly stressed. Still get sick too easily. I am really struggling financially. Plus my parents don’t approve of my life or choices. I never have time to do the things I need to do.
I just want a break from it all. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the brink of not being able to handle it.
Perhaps part-time music college + demanding full-time job + playing in a band + other hobbies/activities = It Is Not Possible.more » Posted on Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 | 6 Comments »
Warning: I might have been in a slightly bitchy mood whilst writing this….
- People who smoke cigarettes anywhere in my vicinity, or even just the smell of it on someone’s clothes.. EWW! Secondhand smoke gives me a headache, a cough and makes me nauseous. Yes I’m sensitive to it. No I’m not just “putting it on”. Best thing that happened to London was the smoking ban!
- People who binge drink (learn to socialise and have a good time WITHOUT the aid of alcohol!)
- Commuting at peak time in London
- Trains running late and/or having fewer carriages than normal at peak time in London
- Sitting next to fat people or men (sorry guys.. it’s your broader shoulders) on the train.. fave seat buddies are skinny, small women! Memo to National Rail – stop assuming all people are one size – skinny!
- People playing music on loudspeaker on their phone on the train/tram/bus.. if you can afford a phone, you can afford some cheapo earphones!
- People who saunter along slowly & aimlessly during peak time in London and block everyone’s way. Same for human walls.
- Tourists in London.. at peak time (notice a running theme here?!)
- Ok.. so maybe I hate central London in general at peak time!!
- People with absolutely no discernment whatsoever when it comes to food & coffee. This one is a BIG one. Including (but not exhaustively listing):
- Starbucks (or Costa) coffees (real coffee is NOT burnt to crap – please someone do this city a favour and stop springing up starbucks on every street corner.. repeat after me: “quality over quantity”. I don’t understand how London, being relatively close to Italy, can just get it SO WRONG!)
- McDonalds/KFC/Pizza Hut (or any other deep pan pizza joint.. and if you think a deep pan pizza is real pizza from Italy you deserve to be shot)
- Subway (yeh… I have no idea what they put in their “baguettes” but that ain’t bread! Same with their cheese.. and meat.. And no, a subway sandwich is actually NOT HEALTHY FOR YOU. It’s all marketing.)
- Wagamamas (Ughhhhhhhh… this one causes me no end of frustration. NO.. Wagamama’s does NOT serve genuine authentic chinese/japanese/malaysian/or any other asian cultures cuisine! Get a clue people! Try some REAL authentic cuisine and then realise that Wagamama’s food actually tastes akin to some cow dung cooked with soy sauce.)
- Pizza Express.. not as bad as pizza hut, but still MILES off from even just a 1 euro takeaway reheated pizza slice in Italy (ps the place I’m referring to is in Venice)!
- Yo Sushi (Complete and utter commercially marketed CRAP. If in London, the equivalent takeout sushi, Wasabi is SO much better – but don’t try the cooked food.. it’s just bulk cooked and reheated in the microwave!)
- Tea with semi-skimmed milk (WHY? If you’re gonna use milk in that small quantity, then use the real stuff.. the difference in fat quantity is miniscule. But the taste difference is great. Full cream milk FTW!)
- Fake people. Say what you mean, and do as you say you will. Empty promises and empty conversation make an empty person.
- People who think they know about music… but don’t.
- People who think they can dance… but can’t (more the youtube types than anyone in real life).
Ok so I finally visited this site (that Kwai had told me about a few times already) and I am absolutely utterly shocked and disgusted. I cannot believe this web site exists.. and that there are over 87000 members. This site makes me so so angry. It is so wrong on so many levels, that it is almost incomprehensible that such a large organised body of people can think like that, and be so… proud and proactive.. about such a thing. These people are actually proud of what they believe. And they are all over the world. There are separate little forums for different locations.. a group in Britain, and a group in Australia and so on..
I read through a few of the threads. Ugh. Words fail to describe what I think of this.more » Posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 | 5 Comments »
Ok I’m annoyed. Someone stole my mobile late last night on my way home from a Bic Runga gig in Shepherds Bush. I tried calling my phone this morning, and it rung once, then went to voicemail (hm very suss), then I called again, and this time it went straight to voicemail (very suss indeed). The thief must have pressed hangup when I called it first, then turned it off. Grrrrr. I hate thieves.
*sigh* Anyway, sim has been disabled now and am going down to the police station to get a stolen phone claim number so the handset will be disabled too. Hah. Take that!more » Posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2006 | 6 Comments »
I find it mildly annoying when people ask me how I am, and I reply with an “I’m alright“, to which they reply somewhat disbelievingly “Just alright?” or even more sensitively “come on go harder“. What the?
Yes. I am “just” alright. Not great, not fantastic, not even good. I can’t honestly say that my life here is great. Coz its not. I’m not “livin it up” and “partying in london” as lots of expats from Australia seem to. I don’t know why my experience seems so different. Why I’m not “loving london” like all the other Aussies seem to. Ok, maybe I’m not all that different and I just don’t know about the people that are struggling too. But maybe I am different. Maybe its because I have different expectations in life. I don’t find my happiness in going out and getting drunk and partying at bars and pubs. In fact I find that totally boring and pointless. Clubs I don’t mind because dancing is involved, but I *still* haven’t gone clubbing here.. prob because I can’t afford it. Which brings me to this.. perhaps its due to financial restrictions. I don’t have much money these days (due to factors that I won’t go into), and that makes life quite hard – esp here in London. London is great fun… if you’ve got money. It’s a struggle to meet all the bills and rent and groceries and transport costs etc. I suppose if I had lots of money, my life quality might be different. But then, isn’t that being materialistic? I guess.. but I think that sort of judgement is easier to make when you do have enough money.. say when you still live off your parents, or even have moved out but are happily married with 2 decent incomes. But when things start to get harder.. it becomes.. not such an easy thing. Of course in the grand scheme of things, yes yes, I’m still quite lucky and all. It’s not all that bad and there are lots of people much worse off than me. But still, I find myself kinda envying those who can afford to do things like go on holidays to Italy or elsewhere.. things that were part of my reason for coming here. (I guess I can kiss going skiing in europe goodbye 🙁 ) Or even other things like being able to buy enough basic furniture for the flat so they don’t have to live out of boxes. Or afford to live closer to central london. Ok I know its bad to compare myself to other people (along with danger of coveting). But the way I’m thinking about it is that I could have done better for myself. Given my background, my education, training and opportunities (which have all been very good and a blessing).. there is no logical reason I shouldn’t be in a better situation. I guess I feel like its kinda a failure on my part. (I mean its not even because I’m deliberately putting myself here due to noble and selfless acts of great giving/sacrifice.) Am I being too hard on myself? I dunno. I know I shouldn’t really complain.. but to explain.. I guess I’ve never been in this sorta situation before.. and I’m finding it a bit hard to accept. It’s easy to say “yeh I don’t care about money” when you have enough and it doesn’t really affect your life much.
Anyway. I feel a bit sad too. About people. Friends (or lack thereof). Losing touch. That sorta thing. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic. Or maybe I’m not trying hard enough. I wonder where my life will lead. I wonder if I’m doomed for an unhappy life. Like so many out there.
Ok enough about money and all things dismal. To put things into perspective for myself, its not that bad. I can still “afford” just a few small “luxuries”, like gym and dance class and broadband internet (though realistically.. my budget and bank account would probably look healthier without those things). But have to give up other things.. like piano classes :(, a bookshelf, new clothes anytime soon, a holiday anytime soon, and at this point, even a flight back to Sydney anytime soon.. heheh. *sigh* Oh wells. Here’s hoping things get better in the future.
Hmm. Strangely enough, I feel a bit better now. Go cathartic blogging. I do have a lot to be thankful for.. I have been able to experience lots of cool and different things over here and have managed to do some travel (last year). Gotta try and stay positive.. see the bigger picture.. get the perspective. I guess I’m alright. Just alright.more » Posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 | 4 Comments »
Just when I thought I’ve solved one large problem in my life, another even larger one has reared its ugly head. *sigh* This year truly has sucked. And my comment back in February this year seems to ring too true. I wonder if next year is gonna be any better. One can only hope.
How appropriate that it’s been raining & miserable these past few days. *sigh*
Current listening :: “The Trouble With Love Is” – Kelly Clarksonmore » Posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2004 | No Comments »
Decisions decisions decisions. I hate having to make them.. esp the tough ones. *sigh*
And I hate being all stressed out about this too. [girly sidenote]My skin is even breaking out and going all red and blotchy (well, red & blotchy for me anyway, compared to normal).[/girly sidenote] Wish I could just escape and not have to deal with everything.
Gonna try a new Hip Hop class tonight. Got recommended by some friends from the dance workshop. Should be fun. I think dance is becoming a bit of an escape for me. It’s a place I always feel happy and at peace.
On a different note, I can’t wait for this movie to be released here. Its out in the states now, but damn its not coming out here till January next year!! 🙁
Current listening :: “A Day In The Sun” – Hilary Duffmore » Posted on Monday, October 11th, 2004 | 4 Comments »