Monday, November 20, 2017

Thank you brain pickings for sharing such awesome stuff:

this is why, one of my major goals in life
is to achieve equanimity in the face of all life circumstances.


Next time someone tells me, "Ohmygod, that's terrible isn't it!"
I'll say, "Maybe."
And equally when someone tells me, "Ohmygod, that's amazing; that's great isn't it!"
I'll say, "Alhamdulillah, maybe."

Islam does often say how for the true believer, 
(apparent) fortune and (apparent) misfortune are the same. 

And that's why, once again, Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli hal. Gratitude for all matters.
The only pleasure or displeasure is with God.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Snowflakes falling from the sky
are drifting further by and by

How much longer do I wait
How many sleepless nights remain

After the cold winter ends
Until spring decides to come again
Until flowers, they bloom again...

a repost, because this beautiful song is speaking to my heart right now.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I've been meaning to post these; it's a habit of mine as I'm sure of many others,
to save memorable phone chats:

so I'm due back at KK for a quick sharing with my team
and to touch base and maybe clear some admin --
and I get this kind of response from my colleagues, haha.
and it hit me how I'm going to really miss this team!
why am I an utter sap who loves too easily.


And then here's a Lymond related screenshot-series,
where I think I may have brought up how it does appear like
Lymond is sooo drama, especially in the last book.

(you have been warned for spoilers)

HAHA, bury my feelings under this bitchin' eagle.

honest to God, the biggest problems in life can be avoided
if we can all have honest and open conversations.
and have the courage to face up to ourselves,
so that we can move into the future.
fangirl post 2051

while BTS takes over US media at the moment as they spend
their week in LA and at the American Music Awards
(once again breaking barriers, wooooh clapclap),
I thought I'd blog about Baepsae --
the song I'd meant to talk about waaay earlier and rave about
but then withheld because I didn't want to appear too crazy a fan --
but now I realise it's far too late cause it's pretty much obvious
how much of a general nutso I am, and
how I love this group to pieces; so what the heck:

here's Baepsae.

The reason I'm blogging about Baepsae -- and it's not a new song of theirs either;
is because it's the song that made me a fan. I've realised this upon looking back.
I've been trying to figure that out, you see -- like, where was the turning point?

My first taste of BTS (as it was for many people) was the Dope MV that spread like a slow, steady fire on the internet (end 2015-ish). I can't recall anymore how I stumbled on it; probably from a reaction video, that led me to the actual video. I recall specifically being blown away by the dancing, the energy, and the put-togetherness of the whole video. It was so well-done, I'd never seen anything like it; I just kept rewatching that single video again, and again. But after a while... I drifted away from it -- was never a music person per se, much less a kpop person, you see. (Although yes, Big Bang fan here -- up until the point BTS took over my fan-life, for a good 4 years or so, my ringtone was Big Bang's Haru Haru; hehe, now it's BTS's Cypher Part 4's opening beat.)

And then YouTube feed (the way all social networks work in this day and age) informs me of a new BTS song called Fire. So very quickly, I was back at marveling at the wonder and talent of this group. They are so good at singing these great energetic songs and mesmerising us with their dancing in these beautiful music videos. But at this point, I was still a distance away from it all, until... I came across Baepsae.

I distinctly recall walking back from work and listening to Baepsae, and thinking, ohmygoddd, what is this amazing, addictive beat! And then I looked up the lyrics -- and it was ohhhhmygoddd, what they're saying is awesome! They're basically anti-establishment underdogs, who tell you to fight for your dreams; and the metaphors they use!

yes, so what I'm a crow-tit, you're a stork -- I'll try, I'll fight the system you have here that privileges you, you put us down all the time, but you'll see, we'll make it, and we'll win. After that point, I became voracious with BTS content. I'd figured, they were my thing. This is the kind of stuff I like! They are wonderful. They say amazing things but are cool, and hip, and on top of it all, sweet, and nice, and humble, and lovely young people, who emulate great teamwork and friendship.

Now they're making history. I'm such a big fan of their work, and I'm actually really curious as to how they will keep up that image of fighting the wrongs of the system, now that they're slowly peaking in the music industry. It's easy to sing about being underdogs, and being downtrodden, when you are underdogs, but now? That's the true test, right? What will you do now that you're in a position of power and influence. (As I say this I realise they just joined UN recently for an #EndViolenceAgainstChildren campaign recently, so yay, doing me proud so far.)

The true measure of influence of a piece of art/entertainment, I feel,
is the extent of fan activity that is generated.
(I bear witness to the blooming of HP fandom online since the early days of the internet.
E and I sometimes reminisce on the good old days when there were basically only 2-3 websites for HP fans*, and fanfiction was decent and contained within

so anyway, I found these amazing acoustic English covers of BTS songs!


*who remembers the internet days of HP Galleries, Sugar Quill, and haha. I remember coming home from school and visiting those few places on a fairly daily basis for updates. oh, good old fangirling days.

and just, finally to finish, 
Crowley gives a good opinion here, heheh:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

there are more important things

Yesterday, I suddenly thought of this, out of the blue, so I dug it up;
it made me feel warmed, motivated.

I'm so glad I discovered and fell in love with this book series in my childhood.

"I might be able to hold Snape off for a while, but I'm no match for him, really."

"But Harry -- what if You-Know-Who's with him?"

"Well -- I was lucky once, wasn't I?" said Harry, pointing at his scar. "I might get lucky again."

Hermione's lip trembled and she suddenly dashed at Harry and threw her arms around him.


"Harry -- you're a great wizard, you know."

"I'm not as good as you," said Harry, very embarrassed as she let go of him.

"Me!" said Hermione. "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things -- friendship and bravery and -- oh Harry, be careful!"

-- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling

A bunch of wonderful 11-year-olds, learning early on, what the important things in life are.
And taking them on.
You know, like: if I don't do this, I don't know who will;
Someone's got to do it; okay, I will.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Excellent little vlog by a young fan
explaining why BTS is awesome!


they are a phenomenon.
I love what these boys represent.
(and feel very gratified that I sort of saw this coming);
at moments like this, I have faith in my taste, haha.

and also! I've figured that my blog posts are rising because
(i) falling down the endless spiral of BTS fandom
(ii) my work that has me sitting at home writing reports -- except of course I will be distracted from my work every other minute, and blog instead
(iii) ?

Thank You God for all matters, and for all things.

seedlings of joy

I've been meaning to get to Andrew Solomon's book, The Noonday Demon!

This man has such an eloquence for telling his stories,
that probably comes from his own pain and the piercing insight he gained
from a lifetime of struggle.

A Buddhist scholar I know once said to me
that Westerners mistakenly think
that nirvana is what arrives when all your woe is behind you
and you only have bliss to look forward to.
But he said that would not be nirvana,
because your bliss in the present
would always be shadowed by the joy in the past.
Nirvana he said, is what you arrive at,
when you only have bliss to look forward to
and find in what looked like sorrows
the seedlings of your joy.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

ohmygoodness, hahahaha, this just made my day --
and it's only 1.00PM

(FYI if you're clueless, these are BTS LINE cartoon characters created by the boys -- together with real artists of course -- and then these characters themselves have hilarious stories and antics; and obviously I've  already got them on my phone; and here, they attempt to do human-BTS's Go Go dance. Ohmygoddd, I'm short of squealing at the cuteness and hilarity of it all.)

I've just taken stock of my blog post counter for this year, and I realise this year's posts is the highest in 4 years! I've always wondered: what it is that brings me back here more often. Partly if I'm super excited and I'm fangirling -- so I suppose being down the rabbit hole of BTS fandom is part of the reason haha. But I've also always thought that when I struggle, I blog more. Because writing is my release.
We all know this, it's nothing really new;
and yet, reminders are necessary!

I like how she summarised the pillars of a meaningful life:
(i) belonging -- being acknowledged and loved for who you are, and not simply what you do or believe
(ii) purpose -- essentially boils down to serving others
(iii) transcendence -- can be art, can be religion; you forget who you are and transcend
(iv) storytelling -- telling your story in a good way that transforms you (and this affirms yet again, the power of stories)

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Well, this is timely! In light of our recent book.
But then, when is the topic of love untimely...

I can't believe Oxford Union debated about this;
true love doesn't exist now?
But I guess in a secular world, it's a matter of course.
You deny God, you deny true love...
goodness, what's next.


You know how you get stuck with a problem
and you muddle over it, for days and days and days,
and you pray it goes away, or you pray for a solution;
and the idea of a solution is usually something you wish would come nicely gift-wrapped;
but then!

when a solution hits you; or as it is often in my case, 
when a solution starts to peep at you from a distance and slowly comes closer
until it's glaring you in the face and you can't ignore it any longer,
you realise, damn it; it's not something you want to do!

these are the kinds of moments I'm scared of myself,
because once it's there I can't shut up and ignore it.
and there's no telling what I'd end up doing.