Posted by: coolerbecky | August 30, 2012

The Byronic Man

I recently discovered that my best friend, Lacey, is related to the Lord Byron, the celebrated poet who squandered his family’s fortunes in gambling and aristocratic excess. Lord Byron is, of course, very much famed for his contributions to the Gothic movement of the British Romantic era through his creation of the Byronic hero – flawed and most tragical anti-hero characters.

He also invented Vampyres with a Y, which makes him doubly responsible for the travesty of literature that is The-Series-Of-Books-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named and its ill begotten offspring Unsafe-Bondage-For-The-Highly-Unintelligent

I have therefore instituted a new policy whereby Lacey gets punched in the arm whenever she brings up anything to do with the ridiculous sparkly sods and their get. It is my way of getting revenge on their original progenitor via his actual offspring.

In other news, Lacey is returning from Japan soon. I can hardly wait.

Posted by: coolerbecky | August 30, 2012

Upgraded

So, I recently discovered a giant bill from my mobile phone provider and called up to investigate.

Oddly enough, without my prompting, they decided to do the following:

1. Waive my bill for this month.
2. Move me to a cheaper plan with better benefits
3. Give me an iPhone 4

I should investigate my bills more often.

Posted by: coolerbecky | March 16, 2012

One Angry Dwarf

One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces, a song by Ben Folds Five

For me, this song has quite a lot of meaning to it because for the longest time, I was the “angry dwarf”.

Back when I first heard this song, I sympathised with the main singer of the song. As a short person who was bullied a lot in school, I would dream of becoming the “angry dwarf” someday. Back then, nothing would make me happier than to imagine myself as a success in life while those who bullied me turned into failures of some sort just like in the sitcoms I watched on TV.

In a sense, I guess that that’s the dream of a lot of kids who are bullied in school.

What I hadn’t noticed in the song was that the “angry dwarf” was, in fact, a very bitter (and quite obviously angry) person. Altough he’s returned to the reunion a societal success, he’s not even remotely able to enjoy it. Instead of just letting his success speak for itself, he’s ranting at his classmates for their lack of attention. The “angry dwarf” is, in fact, someone so unable to let go of his grudge against his former classmates that he’s let proving himself to the world become an obsession. Heck, the guy can’t even let go of the silliest things like an 8-year-old classmate telling him that she’d rather not kiss him.

It goes without saying that when I eventually did become an “angry dwarf”, I wasn’t the least bit happy. I’d used the unhappy memories that I had about my former classmates and teachers as the fuel that drove me towards success. It felt good to imagine that someday, somehow, I would be able to turn on my bullies and laugh at them for being failures in life while I had become a wonderful success, but the truth of the matter was that these grudges were weighing me down. Every time I revisited these memories, I would remember the hurt that these classmates visited on me. The more I revisited them, the more bitter I became. By the time I came to Australia, I was so bitter about the whole situation, that I had stunted my ability to make new friends.

Nowadays, I regret treating everyone in my Australian school like an enemy. While there were a quite few naughty girls there, I think the majority of girls in that school meant well – I simply kept pushing them away because I was too angry to let them become my friends.

A few years ago, I realised how poisonous carrying this baggage around with me had been. I made a committment to God to put down the burden and really forgive my enemies for what they did. We were all only kids, after all. I’ve since stopped being the “angry dwarf”. I’d like to think that managed to put down the burden entirely and forgiven my enemies totally, but every now and then I’ll remember some petty thing and get angry and upset all over again.

With God’s guidance, I expect that it won’t be long before I’ll stop thinking about these things altogether.

Posted by: coolerbecky | October 24, 2011

Sweet Sunday (Belated Edition): Hold Me Now

This week’s Sweet Sunday is brought to you by ballet and scheduling difficulties. This beautiful Anime Music Video is made by Tidirium Studios using clips from Princess Tutu. I love the timing and the pacing of this music video quite a lot – the way Miss Panaccio works the timing of the ballet moves to the music works very well.

Princess Tutu is actually a most excellent piece of Japanese animation, a series that is neither too long, nor too short. It tells the story about a prince who breaks his heart when fighting a monster crow, the story of the Magical Princess who loves the prince and wishes to help him regain his heart and the story of an Evil Princess who corrupts the Prince’s heart superimposed over a backdrop of ballet students learning to dance at a prestegious ballet academy. The above video does a fairly good job of summarising the series, but it’s still worth the watch because of its excellent execution.

Princess Tutu has fairly good pacing and the references to classical ballet performances such as Swan Lake and Giselle are very informative. I learned a lot about ballet terms when watching this show and enjoyed looking out for ballet shout-outs whenever they happened. Most of the music in the show is derived from famous ballet works as well, making it wonderful to listen to as well as to watch. I’ll probably do a more in-depth review of this show at some point, so do look out for it.

The music for this video is provided by one Nanne Grönvall, a Swedish singer who is slightly less weird than Bjork, but only slightly1. The song used in the video, Håll om mig, is one of her most famous songs and has sold more than 10,000 copies in Sweden after topping the single charts for 2 weeks. She’s recently released a new album, En rastlös själ, though I’m unsure as to its availability in foreign markets.


1I believe she once wore Spock ears and a purple wig to the Melodifestivalen for her performance of Avundsjuk. But then again, it being the Melodifestivalen, that may as well have been the uniform.

Posted by: coolerbecky | October 23, 2011

Quick! Answer the Question!

Comic Courtesy of Mac Hall

That Wacky Freud 2000-2007 © Ian McConville & Matt Boyd

The Machall comic here1 pretty much sums up my attitude towards my University course and its impending final examinations. No, I sincerely doubt that it means that I have an Oedipus Complex, that allegation is just plain disturbing2.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t often get nightmares about exams. Long after I left University and started working as a publicist, I would get the occasional nightmare about taking programming exams in Chinese. Since I’ve gone back to University to pursue accounting, I’ve been more stressed than I’ve ever been about examinations despite only doing courses part-time. Just last night, I had a dream in which the Cost of Goods Sold on a spreadsheet had to be determined before five minutes were up or my best friends would be dumped into a laser shark pit by a cackling gentleman who bore more than a passing resemblance to my accounting lecturer3.

I’ve always hated sitting for tests. My mind has an awful tendency to draw blanks at crucial points in the exam, only to pick them up about two seconds after I step out the door. Even after the exam is over, there’s always that harrowing waiting time for the results, where your brain keeps manually checking and rechecking your responses to see if you’ve made mistakes, and an ever-present niggling worry about failure.

The last examination I had was an exercise in how poorly I could function under the worst possible exam conditions as well as how many stupid mistakes I could make in the course of one and a half hours. The examination room was a large one, but furnished entirely with uncomfortable flipchairs with those tiny flipside tables.

Anyone familiar with flipside tables would probably notice that such tables are perfectly sized for writing notes in lectures, for they are the size of a small notebook or lecture pad. These tables were much smaller, so that the examination papers, when opened, flopped over the sides of the tables. They also had a tendency to fall down with the gentlest of nudges. Half an hour after the exam started, the unfortunate soul in front of me had his table collapse from underneath the pressure of his pen, sending his calculator, examination paper and assorted stationery skittering to the four corners of the room. He was given no extra time for the exam and spent the next hour weeping pitifully as he continued to answer questions, knowing full well that he couldn’t finish the exam on time.

As for myself, I had managed to slice my hand open on the first page of the exam, so that my paper was sprinkled liberally with my own blood, alongside my answers. Never let it be said that I didn’t bleed for my diploma. I didn’t finish the paper either.

This means, of course, that there’s extra pressure for me to actually get extremely good marks in the finals.

Which means more dreams about exams.

Boo hoo hoo.


1Although Machall was completed in 2007, I believe that the creators of the comic, are currently drawing a periodic sequel called Three Panel Soul, which is accessible at http://threepanelsoul.com/.
2Spiky hair guy in the comic has a point, though, Freud did have an unhealthy obsession with sex.
3I knew I should have borrowed Q’s automatic COGS calculator device before attempting this mission!

Posted by: coolerbecky | October 22, 2011

Memories of Ah Kong and Ah Mah

Mr and Mrs Kao Ji Eng, my grandparents and people of faith

Ah Mah and Ah Kong

My cousins recently asked me for my memories of my maternal grandparents, Ah Kong and Ah Ma. My memories of them are a little vague – they passed away when I was very young, just after I started kindergarten.

I remember that both Ah Kong and Ah Mah used to stay at our house, back when I was still living in a big home. As a child, I had difficulty communicating with Ah Kong and Ah Mah. They didn’t speak much English and tended to be fairly silent people.

My strongest memory of Ah Mah took place when I was extremely young. I saw her walking up the steps of our home. She was clutching the handrail of the stairs and putting both feet on each step before commencing the climb to the next step, moving up them at a glacial pace. I probably didn’t have a concept of frailness all that much because my immediate thought was that Ah Mah did not know how to climb stairs. It was clear to my 4-year-old brain that Ah Mah would save lots of valuable time climbing stairs if she simply put one foot on each step and kept going. I remember doing laps up and down the stairs beside her as a means of demonstrating this to her. Ah Mah was greatly amused by this and kept chuckling as she proceeded on her way. That’s really how I remember Ah Mah. She always seemed pretty smiley, even when she wasn’t smiling.

Ah Kong had a very quiet, calm manner about him, which commanded respect. He was a gentle giant, thin and tall – always looking down at me from a great height even after he started using a wheelchair to get around. Mum would cook him Mee Sua very often, which I think he really loved. I remember defending a very precious bowl of mee sua from my sister because it was meant for Ah Kong. Even as an adult, I have a vague affection for Ah Kong. My memories of him are pretty fragmented, but I know that I prattled endlessly to him every once in a while in a vague attempt to understand what he was saying. I also remember thinking that his wheelchair was the greatest thing in the world.

Mummy and my sister have told me a lot of stories about Ah Kong and Ah Mah. I wish they had lived longer so that I could have really gotten to know them better, but I’m glad that they were who they were because they sound like really good people.

Posted by: coolerbecky | October 21, 2011

Complete and Utter Stupidity

Scene: A kitchen inside a studio apartment. A pot of brown sugar in water is boiling on the stove. Cooler Becky rapidly stirs the boiling sugar with a Le Creuset spatula1. The Swedish Chef’s theme song is playing in the background.

Cooler Becky: I wonder if this sugar has caramelised yet…

Cooler Becky starts to stick her index finger into the pot.

Cooler Becky’s Brain: CARAMEL FORMS AT 200 DEGREES! THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA! ABORT! ABORT!

It is too late. Cooler Becky’s finger makes contact with aforementioned hot boiling sugar goo 2.

Cooler Becky:
AAAAAAAAAAUGH! YAROO! OW!

Cooler Becky sticks burned finger into mouth, burning her tongue in the process.

Cooler Becky:
ARRGHARGGHGGHGLE!

Somedays, I wonder if I ever had a brain to begin with.


1Good for up to 350 degrees, apparently. Got two of these for Christmas. BEST. GIFT. EVER.
2SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Sugar at the caramel stage has properties similar to that of molten glass. DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME, AT WORK OR AT ALL.

Posted by: coolerbecky | October 20, 2011

Full of Disease

This morning, I woke up to find some sort of unknown goo in my nostrils and that I’m cold.

I hate the flu season. If someone within New South Wales so much as even coughs in my general direction, I inevitably get completely sick.

What annoys me the most is that I’ve already HAD my flu shot and it never works!

*Depression*

I’m going to curl up here with a hot drink.

Posted by: coolerbecky | September 18, 2011

Sweet Sunday: Study Hard

With two subjects at University and a part-time job to handle, this song is what’s been playing on my radio of late.

Posted by: coolerbecky | May 1, 2011

Sweet Sunday: He’s Singin’ in Korean

Today’s Sweet Sunday is brought to you by America!

In June of 2006, Comedy Central‘s most famous US Republican political journalist and host of the Colbert Report1, Stephen Colbert, was named one of TIME’s top 100 most influential people in the world. Since then, Stephen has been working very hard to claw his way to the top of the list, but has been repeatedly deposed by Korean pop-star sensation and star of the famous K-dorama, Full House, Rain.

In May 2007, Stephen decided to bring the fight over to Korea with his ground breaking record, He’s Singin’ in Korean.  The song has since gone on to become one of the most famous songs in the world, with Stepmania choreography and top record hits.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
He’s Singing in Korean
www.colbertnation.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:182950
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Vote Stephen Colbert in the TIME 100 and show AMERICA your support!


1Pronounced Col-BEAR Re-PORE.

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