I am not a HUGE HUGE fan of Alicia Keys but she has churned out some good ones which I liked listening to the past few years.
This time she and I are on the same page because this is my absolute favorite!!!!!!!!! It's on REPEAT on my Ipod now now now now now now now now now now now now now now! hahahahaha I love the electricity of the drum beats near the ending...fantastic!!!
Plus she can sing very well LIVE too. This is always my biggest template for a great singer! If anyone can sound as close to the singer in the music during recording then that's spectacular in my humble opinion...
Plus she is beautiful and that doesn't hurt one bit hahaha
PS I dont like the Jay-Z version with her that much although it's not bad :)
First of all I am so thankful to everyone who has made my 2009 a benchmark year!
This is a year of upheavals and letdowns. But of course not a year without lessons learned. Experience has taught me that what doesn't leave permanent scars will make me stronger and the things that leave eternal scars serve to remind me of my humanity... and vulnerability.
I have long been free of the chains of many aspects of my personal life but I am going to acknowledge this fact! I have never felt more fulfilled at any stage during the past year than this point. Yes meeting many people has indeed opened up new challenges and of course given my tenacity and proper guidance, I know I will overcome these obstacles. Yes I meet them in my bed and off of it, I acknowledge that too!!!! (I don't have to hide anything) HAHAHAHHAA....I think genetically MAN was meant to conquer the bars that kept him captive and this is true in my case. Sometimes circumstance and coincidence as well as a little bit of intuition conspire to help me overcome many of my personal challenges. I am glad LIFE works this way!
I am so happy I got to see the world more and travel again! And work of course! It is an exhilarating experience for a woman like me who is fiercely independent, unafraid of breaking stereotypes and humanely entrepreneurial :) I am always one who thinks outside the box and loves to know the social context of my experiences and where they fit in the grand design of my life! I am very passionate about this because only by thinking out of my box will I achieve a true understanding of my self and the workings of my mind.
I am looking forward to 2010 with great vigor, eagerness and anticipation! I have so many plans in life it makes me giddy and happy! The next year will be even better as long as I keep in mind that I have perseverance, grit and bravado as totem poles. Thank you to all my liaisons! You are my source of motivation and temporary nirvanas and your unconscious tug at me to better myself is very well-cherished on my part.
As i watched an old but remodernised film of Charles Dickens' classic, "Great Expectations" I suddenly find myself fascinated by the character of Miss Havisham. Now in the novel, she was the wealthy, old and eccentric woman who brandished her adopted daughter Estella like a crucible, a weapon that would crush men's hearts, the scalpel that would slice through skin and flesh as vengeance for the emotions that were shattered inside her core. In the story she invites Pip, an orphan who lives with his unkind sister and her husband, to her house to entertain her and Estella. She entices Pip to Estella and with Estella's wily ways, he develops an attraction for her. This attraction goes further into their adulthood. He has placed Estella on a pedestal and considered her a template of womanhood perfected. But Estella, the pupil has been taught well. She gives some but withholds a lot from Pip. She tantalizes him into emotional immersion but never imparts her own share of passion. This was exactly the plan hatched by Miss Havisham......to make pawns of these two creatures - in a Machiavellian plot that she thought would be salve for her thorned ego....
I fear ending up as a Miss Havisham. Somehow the circumstances that led towards her eternal disdain and remorse of MALEkind is too painful to picture. Can you imagine being made up and dressed as the most beautiful woman in your life on your wedding day only to be abandoned by your groom and husband-to-be at the very last minute in the midst of invited guests? Left at the altar all alone to soak up the sighs of pity from people both close and foreign to you? A reception full of food and bounty ready to nourish the wedding guests only to be left cold and withered in the aftermath of the tremors? Time standing still and the shock too enormous to absorb? I would lose my mind. She did! I would tear up the whole room and stop all the clocks at twenty past nine....That's what she did too!
She was a woman trapped in time...literally. She stopped the clock at the exact timeshe read the letter from her lover. She retreated to her own capsule. A cocoon of flimsy and diaphanous dresses and gowns. Of exaggerated, glitzy, colorful and flamboyant makeup...a huge effort at imitating beauty but interpreted as jesterish to outsiders looking in....this was the illusion Miss Havisham immersed herself in. A most effective mechanismto salvage whatever sanity was left in her.
Surrounding herself with pretty, dainty objects inside her room, the rest of the houseshe lived in became haunted and cursed with that one single moment of that single dayin her past which had broken her. It was filthy, dark and unattended to. Wild plants had ravagedher garden and the insides of her house. They were like a primeval warning to all visitors - do not come in. The furniture inside the house had been whittled down to bare existence. The most incongruous objets d'art were found in the reception hall. The glasses, the tables, the carpet and the gigantic wedding cake, the piece de resistance of that grim day....
Fortunately or unfortunately she had found a vessel in Estella. her adopted daughter. Her wealth had helped maintain Estella's lessons of etiquette and decorum. Her beauty was her biggest asset though. She was one who would make men grovel at her feet. And Miss Havisham was determined to take full advantage of that. She wanted to instill coldness inside the young girl so that she could exact cruelty on men who were willing to give themselves to her. Estella was her alter-ego, but more sophisticated, less giving, unemotional and quite devious. She was consumed with making men suffer for that single defining moment that wrenched her heart..
But in the end Miss Havisham's protege falls. The threads of the veil of sophistication and coldness in Estella unravels. Estella had fumbled into relationship after relationship of conveniences, which was never enough. The matryoshka-esque armor fashioned for her by Miss Havisham crumbles and the real Estella came out. She is lonely and sad in the end. Pip's enduring love for her has won. Coincidence brought them both together again and they start anew.....Miss Havisham catches fire in a freak accident but is saved by Pip himself. She then dies from the injuries inflicted on her by the burning.
The end of Miss Havisham is riddled with vagueness but I think how Dickens wrote her end out is symbolic in itself. She was a crafty and almost evil persona. She used others to feed her inadequacy and to heal her own issues. She literally burned into oblivion because her cause may have been good but her intentions were evil and involved destroying two people who were probably the closest to her heart at that time - Pip and Estella. I cannot blame her though. She was a victim. Her existence stopped at the very moment love turned its back on her. She would forever be typecast in literary history as the eccentric, and wealthy spinster whose heart was stuck at twenty minutes before nine o'clock....
Life is beautiful!!! When you are young, adventurous and you dare to go out of the box, your existence is extended to borders that always help you learn something new...
Ahhh the things that happen to me in China!
How do I begin? Dumplings! I am always one whose curiosity is boundless and I will always dare to do things that most tourists would not do here. I am not saying I'm going into anything as hardcore as living the and embracing the lifestyle of the Chinese as many Western expats do. But for the average tourist I can say I am a risk-taker. Of course I try to be very hands-on when I'm trying to explore a certain place, experience the sights and sounds, and mingle with the inhabitants. This is why my travels to China are never boring!
Going back to dumplings, my curiosity about the existence of genuine Chinese cuisine has led me to explore the culinary delights that Shanghai has to offer. I would want to eat almost anything except toads and tortoises! Now we all know that dumplings are as common as bicycles here in China. They are almost the symbol of Chinese food if I am allowed to say so. I am a great fan of these tiny delicious objects sold in almost every kitchenette in every corner in Shanghai! I eat them from a soup bowl, from takeaway plastic containers, from sticks...but yesterday dumplings took their vengeance on me!
Crazy as I am, I was enticed to buy these beautiful, simmering, scrumptious things. They were dumplings of course. I thought i would be able to translate to the man cooking them that I wanted to buy three pieces. Now we all know the language chasm that exists between English speakers and the Chinese. I would have guessed he misinterpreted my hand signals and he dumped about 12 of them and put them in a plastic container. My guess is that this is maximum for a single order LOL
When I tried to eat them as I would eat any normal dumpling I was shocked to see some kind of juice, which I think was oil, oozing out of them when I poked a chopstick at one. The whole thing like exploded and messed in my hand hahahaha! It was so funny because I was in a sidewalk where people were passing by. Never have I felt more embarrassed than at that moment! Hahaha. It was like a sudden spotlight was cast on me and me alone. I was prepared for the dagger of stares from the people who were offended at me sacrilegiously crushing a national symbol of China!
An occasional glance was thrown my way but surprisingly nothing resembling a laugh or a snicker! The world seemed to still be rotating at its own axis, the people going about their daily lives. Students walking home from university and office clerks waiting for the bus at the stop...everything seemed normal-ish! Ahhhh yes thank God for Chinese habits! Why? Because many Chinese do anything everywhere. They eat food, drink, pee in the isolated corners, spit, sneeze, pick their nose and many other sanitary offenses in public!!! My minor offense or accident would have been nothing to them haha except for one thing probably...I hold chopsticks the wrong way! Haha I am sure I do make the effort of holding it the right way but it never ceases to amaze me how girls in coats and high heels eat large fritters of anything using a chopstick while walking with the speed of a trotting dog!
I will definitely write more as I have more time to spend here in Shanghai and also Beijing. The cold has not deterred me from exploring and walking around which has become a well-known habit throughout my travels. So if you see a tallish Asian lass with a heavy coat and with eyes darting around and constantly taking in both the mundane and extraordinary sights and scenarios around her...you may have come across the big bad Winklergirl!!!
i know my tastes in men are not impeccable haha but hey CUTE is defined by the beholder sillies!!!!!!!!!
I love a lot of guys in sports and I'm telling you I've fallen hard for many of them hehehe
Lately I have been concerned about my fitness so I have started kicking myself in the ass and hitting the courts near where I live again...:)Andit's amazingly coincidental how a week after I rekindle my love affair with Le Badminton, the use of rackets to hit shuttlecocks (my how I looooove cocks!!!) into strategic positions, I find this cutie on television and on the net!!! Sooooooo have I finally found inspiration to maintain my longevity on this sport for good? We shall see, we shall see....heheeh
Let's take a peek into my current crush's curriculum vitae???? :P(click on the picture to see full-size)
My my I really have a thing for guys who are slimmish.....:P
I always fall for a man with ''ARMS'' and ''LEGS''!!!!!! LOL
Check out the footwork!!!!!
This is what champions are made of...overhead smashes!!!!!!!
Hmmm..... I can't speak German so can somebody translate these for me? One thing I notice though, the person in question doesn't have the same staccato-ish accent most German guys have? Maybe that adds to his cuteness???? Hahahahhahahaha
Now I want to marry him!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahhahha
Have I died and gone to heaven? Are these angels I'm seeing?
This is seriously one of the most enchanting places I have ever seen. This is the stuff postcards, film scenes and gossamer Morphean creations are made of. I would say this is probably one place that would shelter a wounded Indiana Jones when running from pursuing Nazis in one of his world-wide treks for arcane treasures. Or where Rudyard Kipling's part-animal part-humanoid fictional characters would be born and raised. Or where a future religious icon would begin developing and practicing his genius and seeing the Divinities through his own eyes....Ahh my imagination runs amok!
A utopia of spirituality and silence, a haven for the weary traveller would best describe this place...
Seriously I CAN and WANT to live in a place like this when I become weary of life's battles I think. Live a life of ascetism and deep spirituality, subsist on simplistic food,survive in austere conditions...I guess I would gladly embrace it as long as i have inner peace and satisfaction throughout the rest of my short life...hehehe
Can you guess where this place is? hehehe
Note: Thank you to Mark and to his site http://www.pbase.com/jemski/ for his excellent pictures!!!!
I have no idea what led me to touch base again with my badminton buddies. I hadn't seen them for a long time and naturally hadn't kept in touch during that time. But then refuting my first statement think I know what made me kept in touch right back with them again. My buddy's wife died and I guess I hate to say it's a wakeup call with regards to the getting-in-touch part of life.
Well the sadder part, and I hate to say there is a more melancholic event than his wife's passing, is that I just learned that my best bud in the badminton circles, my doubles partner and one who was always ready to go in for the kill when my game was falling apart, had died several months ago without my knowing it until now!
This is depressing for me because the closeness was not that apparent but there was definitely a bond there. I knew we could have been closer if I had chosen to but I chose not to because of confidence that time was on my side. It's like teetering close to the edge of a cliff knowing that you can make it if you jump but not jumping because you know the gap will always be there for you. It doesn't make much sense now but even this event doesn't make much sense to me. He was relatively young, sprite, athletic and very personable. I knew little of his off-court activities and I am not one who would snoop around so I always assumed he was as contented in his personal life as he looked to me whenever we were playing.
He was a personality unto himself. He was funny, loud, hilarious, driven, strong, dynamic and his stamina was unforgiving. I would find myself gasping for breath between long points and he made everything seem easy. And the thing beautiful about him is he never placed any restraint unto himself when he was in action. He would scream like woman if he felt like it! Haha. It was funny how many looks we got from within the gymnasium when we played because of how flamboyant and noisy we were as a pair. He was also very encouraging and positive-spirited. Always motivated to win, he would play every point with so much vigor and energy that it was infectious...
We never really talked a lot when we were not playing but the few derivatives I have off of his personal life is that he was as fascinated with guys as he was with women! I could talk to him about this cutie I wanted to see or this hottie I just laid my eyes on and he would tell me an experience of significant equivalence to what I just mentioned. We talked about men mostly and I never really got to know his beloved other except for when my friends had already told me. But he was a beautiful personality I believe when you really came to know him and was never judgmental. He was always curious about my transitioning and my surgeries and the MEN that i see and how we should sexually categorise them haha! It's probably just as weighty as the curiosity of people who really want to know me but I guess he added his own personal touch to it.
He was always encouraging me to join tournaments with him. I think that was one of the major disappointments about our being doubles partners because we were really good when it came to the game. I guess my competitive nerves when I'm around with people I do not know was the main reason. He knew I had talent and he knew I could compete and that makes him such an excellent partner. He believed I was capable of giving more and achieving more probably. Well I can tell him if we ever met again in the second life...no hesitations this time! We will down the competition!!!
I will miss you my giant killer of a partner, a most infectiously optimistic being and a humble character with lots of positive attributes that will surely be yearned for and deeply missed by many of his peers. Stay happy as i have always remembered you to be....
Like the kid in the video, Mr. Holocaust-Alcoholic-Jobless-crackaddict-MESS shoulda been taught them manners by his Irish Momma when he wuz a kid...But aint thangs too late???
But his momma aint got no control over him now... he's just a machine-gun spewing shite from his mouth...a brainless mental hodge-podge callin' people in the middle during his drunken stupor, stalkin' my blog and dressin' in cheap knickers, playin sex-tourist around sin cities hahahahaha
He be getting more than Mace sprayed on his face now that hes OLDER (and hungrier? hahahahahaha
Boy im beginning to speak like them black folks...COOLERS! hahahahaha
Many of the people who know me are aware I am a bookworm and it's really a passion of mine that has remained intact from very early childhood all throughout my teen years and then onto adulthood...
This interesting poll on FACEBOOK has me penning down my five favorite books and I tell you it's no easy task as I love so many books from Nancy Drew detective books to the more complex biographies of many known people...
Here are my top five for now ever since I started reading PETER PAN and BAMBI (hahaha) up to the complex musings of my Japanese idol Haruki Murakami (surprisingly Murakami only has one book in my top five! pity!) and YES this is according to how I have ranked them...
1. The Pelican Brief
This is the single most influential book of my lifetime! I love how Grisham managed to parlay a work of fiction into what I swear could have been a life-like scenario...And I have always dreamt of becoming another Darby Shaw!!! Smart, arrestingly and effortlessly beautiful..
2. Dance Dance Dance
My first Murakami book and a very hypotic and and enthralling one at that...I hardly placed the book down once I started reading and after 11 more books of the same author this is still my favorite I think...Maybe beginner's luck for him? hehe
3. Singapore Girl: A Memoir
I picked it up in the Singapore airport out of boredom and boy was I very happy to have done so. It gave me the first realistic glimpse into the carnival that was Bugis Street and I have written about it somewhere here in the annals of my decrepit pussy of a blog haha...I love this book! It talks about transsexual obsession which is not gaudy and fornicative...Basically it's just another man's love for a girl book but with a twist :wink: wink: ..
4. Picasso My Grandfather
This book was a gift to me from a long-time fan. We're talking about from way way way back when I was a nobody(still am now though so why'd I say that? haha). This is a very powerful book written by Marina Picasso who is the granddaughter of the great Master. It paints a gray undertone of a life behind the whimsical colors of the canvasses and artworks of Pablo Picasso. I love the cruel statement near the end of this novel " When i die, it will be a shipwreck. When a large ship goes down many people in the vicinity are swept into the whirlpool."
5. Invisible Trade: High-class sex for sale in Singapore
Probably the only book closest to a documentary in the top five. This captivated me for days. Many of the facts inside here are true and I know that from experience of course. I wonder if they should also do one for the scene in Hong Kong. I am sure there would be more color and variety to it!
Last year I had the most miserable birthday in my whole life... For many reasons all of which stemmed from the fact that I made the biggest mistake of establishing a liaison with a super retard...but then those days are gone and look who's desperate now? .....
Today I have decided this will be the happiest day of my life. Why? How could this happen to one of the most serious thinkers in this business?
Because happiness is a choice. It is an option we can take. Life is more often than not like a Greek menu. We can hardly read and distinguish eggplant from eggs if we read it in its entirety but if we ask the right questions, we know which recipe works best for our palate and which doesn't! We will always have a hard time choosing which one tastes good and which one doesn't unless we ask the waiters! It works in the same way as in we never know what kind of cards we will be dealt with in life but if we seek guidance from the right people and WE choose to be happy then we will be happy...
Happiness also stems from our own doing. Nobody can influence or cause happiness in our lives! This is FACT! I tell you...no amount of money from somebody, houses from a sponsor or bags from a fan can make us joyous. We create our own happiness! It emanates from our beings and it is up to us to create the atmosphere, dredge the path and conjure our own goals to achieve happiness. This is a lesson I have learned severely throughout the whole year. There are no OTHERS when it comes to finding what makes us happy. OTHER PEOPLE are hell. We are alone in the end and as a result we create the circumstances that make us happy. Of course yes people can contribute to the overall feeling of happiness but to RELY on other people to make us happy? NO! Entrusting our own happiness on other people is like trying to fly through the heavens with gossamer wings. IT IS guaranteed to never work...
Most of all happiness is how we define it to be. It can take any form or guise but it should be internal for it to be lasting. Nothing external will last. EVER. The beauty of life is the borderlines and the boundaries by which we demarcate happiness is in our own hands. We have the compass, the tools to draft the things that make us happy. The only thing we need to acquire is AWARENESS that there are experiences and qualities that we need to acquire and assimilate to experience happiness. We need to be sensitive to the fact too that this is not necessarily an EASY task but you may find it surprising that it is not insurmountable. The things that will open the locks to the box our happiness is locked in may already be around us, except we have just turned a blind eye towards them and ignored them totally...
I choose to be happy today because I have a choice. Friends, people I love and random strangers may make this day memorable for me but I have chosen to be happy and that's it pretty much...
There is no doubt that there is superiority in numbers. The Red Dragon of the East is indeed wide awake and roaring with the flames of progress and movement. China is a superpower which has thrived on its huge population and vast resources to lead the world economy into the future and grip financial powers-that-be in its hands. Foreign countries and people are scurrying to look for the vast opportunities that the nation has to offer. There is so much money in China that it is unbelievable as a friend of mine said.
Jasmine, a young girl from a province in central China has decided to set forth on a journey to Shaxi, Canton, Southern China to look for work there. She ends up as a thread-cutter in a factory that manufactures jeans which are sold in faraway Western countries. Because home is hundreds of miles away from work she is housed in the factory dormitory along with other Chinese workers like her. The conditions are utterly inhuman. There are 12 girls in one room, food and water is not free and the absence of many basic commodities is common.
The workplace itself is not that different. They start very early in the morning until 7 pm at night. Job orders that require them to work overtime may have them toiling away until 3 in the morning. They are not allowed to rest during work time. They have to sew or cut or zip X amount of jeans per day to meet a certain quota. Many times they are not paid on time. Salary administration is dependent on whether a client who decides to purchase their products in bulk pays on time or not. On more than one occasion their salary day has to be moved to a later date. The workers are allowed only one holiday every two years. Not only do they not earn anything for the day when they call in absent for a reasonable excuse such as health problems and untoward incidences, their salary is also deducted. It is brutal beyond description.
Her story as well as that of her co-workers, is contained in a series of videos called CHINA BLUE which I have lifted off of somebody's blog (thank you BRYANBOY.COM), I was caught in a maelstrom of emotions which left me exhausted and depressed in the end. There is injustice, disparity, sorrow, hopelessness and a conundrum of negative experiences in the heart of the whole story. Questions plagued me for days after I digested the storyline.. It is more than eye-opening. Like a monkey which has clambered on my back, its has become sort of a burden in more ways than one - the reality that I am living comfortably when I see the situation they are in is disturbing beyond comprehension.
This is what China has become in the microcosmic and macrocosmic view of events taking place in its contemporary existence. It has become such a giant pool of cheap labor and a major player in world economy that it has neglected the individual needs of its people. The individual must be sacrificed for the greater good of the country and the world in ultimatum. Utilitarianism has taken over and what is beneficial for the forward movement of the country must be acquired and put to good use. The people push themselves for this common cause and set aside emotional, social, familial and other individualistic aspects of their lives for the propagation of this movement.
Jasmine seems happy in the end. She gets her salary after three months of working in the factory. She is joyous she can send money back home. It seems to be an unwarranted responsibility carried by many Chinese girls, who work themselves to exhaustion. Despite her youth, she is a tough girl without her knowing it. I would call her a heroine in a heartbeat. Her story is one among millions of Chinese girls who have decided to seek greener pastures in dark meadows. It is a story that is replicated in other Chinese women's lives. I guess in many ways they are trapped but who am I to say that? We all have our own little traps. Theirs is just one where the Establishment has the upper hand because it holds the locks to their traps.
But then again as I surmised in the beginning of this entry, there is power in numbers. Who knows what could happen? When there is a lot of dissatisfaction and unrest there are always minds who voice out their non-conformity. Women or men whose brilliance put them in a special class of people called leaders. They may initiate a Revolution. They may lead their disgraced fellowmen to rise in arms and plunder the Establishment. The balance of power could shift with great swiftness. And then perhaps we might see again history rewritten with a Chinese translation...
(NOTE: you can watch the 15 part-series of Jasmine and her friends' stories by watching the flick on youtube and then looking for the other parts in the side bar to the right. Hope you enjoy and learn a valuable lesson afterwards)