Tuesday, September 19, 2017

fangirl post no. 1062

I wonder if this is how it's going to be from now on.
I'm such a fan now,
I can't not post every time BTS has a new song.

objectively guys, objectively,
remove my fan-bias,
how is this not legitimately a gorgeous video shot?

Away from the boys and their music,
you could just fan their production team for their
video-making skills. (I'm considering doing this, ahhahaah.)
This is just gorgeous artwork.

I maintain Serendipity (below from a previous post)
as still my absolute favourite art piece from them;
but just... I'm rarely unimpressed.
This one is another explosion of colour on your screen; try it out.
Not to mention the harmony in the music that meshes so well with the visuals.

Everything about this team sings out in harmony,
and there lies the beauty. That wins over all our hearts.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Recent things have made me recall this comic:

hahaha 😆

Thursday, September 14, 2017

So I just finished watching The Promise, a movie that chronicles the Armenian genocide in Turkey in World War I. Cried buckets. It made think of what the Rohingyas are probably going through right now -- and it enrages me so much.

Why is it that at any point of time in the history of humanity, some groups of people are always trying to kill off some other groups of people? What is wrong with humans, seriously! Why does anyone think it is okay to kill off masses of innocent lives? It's unbelievable and completely baffling to me, and therefore entirely enraging.

Every human being is a human being. Can we all, for goodness sake, for God's sake, please just look at each other as human beings? Even in YouTube comments, you see people then doing the same stupid racist things that result in the dehumanizing that makes genocide possible in the first place, you know? People insulting Turks entirely or the Japanese entirely. Just stop hating people for no other reason than them belonging to some arbitrary group!

There's this other amazing, amazing movie:

which is awesome in an all-round way, really: captured all the horrors of war,
and yet managed to have beautiful, light-hearted moments,
as well as dialogue and action scenes full of oomph 
(I don't know how else to describe them, haha).
Not to mention it stars Song Joong Ki (who took forever to appear on-screen),
who can do no wrong at the moment -- 
at the peak of his career and marrying arguably Korea's most beautiful woman.

I am digressing -- these are great stories,
not entirely novel, sure;
but that apparently humanity doesn't appear to ever learn from...

I need to go watch something happy now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I'll probably sound elitist and egotistical, but I can't stand it anymore. It infuriates me.

What I've been realising as I've interacted with different groups of people throughout life, is that most people are incapable of having a true and deep discussion about matters, because before they can come close to probing the deeper issues, their ego or their emotional baggage besets them and gets in the way. Such people have probably never had the pleasure of having enlightening conversations with others.

I think it boils down to having good listening skills, having a good opinion of others, and a striving to understand the other person's perspective, rather than making conclusions about them prematurely and shutting them down before you've really understood them. Stop being pompous all the time and thinking you know all the answers! It's exhausting to have to converse with you.

God help me if some people drive me up the wall, the way they talk.


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Spiritual recharge is pretty much the equivalent of a happy pill, Alhamdulillah. 😌

Four gifts come with closeness to God, with connection to the Beloved s.a.w.:

💜  Rahmah Qudrah, the will and ability to overcome the formidable and achieve the unimaginable
💜  Nur Tamsyuna bihi, a light with which to discern truth from falsehood
💜  Syafaqah, increased compassion and tolerance
💜  Maghfirah, forgiveness from God


I love this so much I am going to post it again.
(Yes, I love it that much.)

The universe has moved for us
There wasn't even a little miss

Just let me love you

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Still on a John Oliver binge 
(although thankfully not pumped on coffee; 
such previous 2am-posts should not be repeated).

I re-watched this:

And it brings me to the topic of just public anything: if you're a professional in a public system, chances are you are at the very least frustrated with the way things work. The above is an extreme example thankfully not from my country (although who knows how things really are in my country; we don't have a John Oliver equivalent and even if we did, he'd be jailed on Day 1 of his show), but listening to it brings up all my latent rage at the way some things are done in the systems and institutions that I function or have functioned in.

To be fair and not completely ungrateful, our local system and the government tries; it does. But when dollars and cents are the bottomline in our inescapable capitalist world, something always has to give. And often, it is quality -- because we all know KPI are the golden nuggets we aim for instead. This, more than anything, I realise, is what drove me out of the hospital into the community -- I may get into trouble for this but goodness, it has to be said: if I had a child who needed language therapy, no way would I rely on therapists in our public hospitals. Not because they are terrible therapists to begin with -- hey, I'm one myself, and one parent actually told me she felt therapists in the hospitals always seem better to her, true or not ahah -- but because they have to work in a system that is difficult, if not impossible. Absolutely crazy waitlists and enormous caseloads which meant that we saw children with such poor frequency, we may as well not see them at all. I had little confidence that I was making a difference to my children other than being a general placebo effect. I shall concede that parent education was a bit better -- because what little time I had with parents, I tried to make them understand the gravity of the disorder that their child had and how to interact with them better, and that sometimes needs less than a few therapy sessions fortunately.

I have to put a disclaimer here though, that I am speaking mainly with regard to language therapy, although I'd say most other communication disorders including speech, voice, and stuttering are not invulnerable to the same problem. When the system that you function in chokes the very thing you do, there are only rightfully two options: either you change the system or you get out. The hospital was an impregnable fortress whose systems are so entrenched and far too entwined at high ministerial and managerial levels to make any major change; it felt like a hopeless case. I mean, when we had a dialogue with our team director once, he expressed his understanding of our woes i.e. 8-session workdays with concurrent ongoing multiple projects that burnt us out, but insisted that his hands were similarly tied unless we could prove that having 4-session days for instance could tangibly raise outcome measures e.g. percentage consonants correct. Ludicrous in every sense; in what world and with what time would we have the luxury to do such studies. We were already maxed out as we were.

So now I'm out of the hospital, happy to do what feels like better-quality speech and language therapy within the schools -- until... I realise this is still Singapore, and crappy systems with stupid KPI goals still exist. But! The system is so new, so young, and so uncertain, I feel like it has the potential to change and evolve into something better -- before it becomes set in stone like archaic, old, immovable systems. A healthy philosophy needs to underpin the system if it needs to be sustainable in the long run -- doesn't Google have the winning formula? I've been to Google! They treat their people like royalty, and they're the most prominent cyber company in the entire world! You would think other companies and other systems might get a clue by now. If you have quality brains working for you, you feed it quality input, then you're more likely to get quality output; you don't treat it like crap, simply apologize, and tell them to deal with reality. It's not rocket science.

I will try to push for change, I will. Ganbatte, S! Because while the hospital appears impossible (and I have to say I salute those people who stay to make things better!), where I am right now may be more amenable to change.
thoughts / anecdotes from tonight / today:

  • (cleaning the kitchen while listening to Shaykh Hamza:) apparently, ibn Abbas r.a. related: The only similarity between this world and paradise are the names of things. Paradise must be truly unimaginable and I hope (it must be, of course!) wonderfully, wonderfully so.
  • I seriously need to start working with time, instead of against it. come on, S, you need to stop being in denial about the nature of time. It's like I'll have actually a gazillion things to do and I leave it all to after work or after dinner, which means inevitably, I will stretch it beyond midnight -- because obviously my brain conveniently does not think what having to plan 4 sessions of therapy and also completing 10 freaking reports actually entail, and therefore how much time is needed. There must be a better way to live life, S, so that you can actually achieve your intended lifestyle goals.
  • yes, I'm 30, and as a woman you start thinking you'll never be beautiful ever again -- not that I ever considered myself as much to begin with -- but I occasionally look at myself, and I think, hey, come on, S, if you make yourself even that little bit slimmer, you'll be gorgeous. oh dear, I crack up at my own optimism sometimes because where the heck is it coming from, right! I've been harbouring a burning flame to make myself gorgeous; I just need to sustain this outward vanity long enough to actually make things happen. (I just know I will totally regret this entire bullet point tomorrow when my coffee-high from tonight fades; yes, I drank coffee tonight to tide through the work, someone please save me from myself.)
  • I've been catching up on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight on YouTube -- and every time, I keep thinking how awesome it is! and how I wish we have this as a necessary (independent) adjunct to all mass media in all democracies of the world. And while I also love Jon Stewart's and now Trevor Noah's The Daily Show, it doesn't quite do what John Oliver does on his show. What John Oliver does is break down the news for you -- which is honestly, confusing as crap most if not all the time -- into understandable, essential bits. Of course, the humour is an added bonus, but I would still watch for his content even if it was delivered in a monotone! Because despite the sometimes over-the-top crude jokes that appear, the content is so good. You see, being a crazy busy person in this crazy capitalist world, you do not have the luxury to sit down and read every single news on the planet, much less analyse them deeply to get past all the crap to the core of things. John Oliver however, does it for you -- he summarises the news for the week in as layman terms as possible, defining words and acronyms bandied about by news pundits, and eventually, ends his segment with a So What Do We Do From Here? Which is essentially what the rest of us want to know! Not all of us are political scientists. And that's why I feel news media in general feels disingenuous most of the time because they tell us things but I get the sense they're not telling us things really, and if you're just not smart enough or don't think enough, you're really going to be duped! And essentially that's how positions of power control the masses in supposedly democractic societies, isn't it.
Here's an example of how John Oliver 
tries to break down a week of chaos in the US 
with some basic questions, haha:
(i) What the f* is going on?
(ii) How big a deal is this?
(iii) Where do we go from here?
(iv) Is this Real Life?

  • Last but certainly not least, BTS just dropped this trailer for their upcoming album. I must be super-biased because I'm starting to almost love these boys unconditionally or something -- but how is this not just heart-thuddingly sweet? Look at the visual aesthetics and the symbolism, and the meaning of the lyrics! I just--


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Once, during a book club discussion, we had talked about how much we were shaped by our parents -- both genes-wise and through parenting -- and how to this very day, the very actions we perform and the people we are, are reflections of the emotions that were wrought while we were in our early childhood (and perhaps later as well) in their presence or lack thereof. And it is not uncommon, when you talk to your friends, to find how much of their life philosophies can be traced back to how much they wish or don't wish to turn out like their parents.

I hope that I have learnt to no longer resent or blame my parents as teenagers are wont to do -- but it does not negate the fact that I realise there are some things in my life that are a result of how I have interacted with my parents. It makes me feel horror, more than anything else, that one really cannot escape one's ancestry and upbringing.

I just realised today that my mother has unintentionally taught me really well not to care for others' opinion of me. Because she was the quintessential example of someone who did care. And I suffered under her scrutiny and approval for the longest time in my childhood, until one day, it came to me that maybe what she thought might not matter; that her benchmark and her measure of me did not have to be my world; and that maybe her word was not necessarily law. And I was slowly and surely liberated from the prison of her expectations. I have realised that from then on, subconsciously I had learnt to very finely and adeptly sieve out people whose opinions do not matter to me, and they are effectively out of my picture. I believe I was generally impervious to bullying and gossip growing up (on top of the fact that I was so blur to begin with, and pretty much did not care what everyone else was doing or talking about). But I think this is what scares me now.

I have found that I am so good at disregarding certain people because I actually think so little of how they think; I judge them quickly and subconsciously whether they fall into the particular category -- to be accorded respect as any human being, but whose opinions I feel hold little weight and impact on my life. I really am not sure if this is a positive skill, but right now, because it includes my mother in one fell swoop -- I wonder if in essence it makes me a terrible, terrible, dismissive person.

I have discussed this with E before -- when we had concluded that she was frequently so riled and bothered by other people because she expected so much more from all of them -- but I on the other hand appear so tolerant and accepting only because I have already pre-judged them: people are generally terrible, rude, self-centered, so don't let's get bothered if they're mean to you. And I appear so awesome and tolerant on the surface, right? I have so little faith and expectation of people. And that's what gets me by in life unbothered.

In my true style, all of this reminds me of a fictional character: the Mord-Sith Cara from Terry Goodkind's Legend of the Seeker