New phone!

The new Xperia Z1 Compact, ordered from Storekini.
The new Xperia Z1 Compact, ordered from Storekini.

Initial review of Xperia Z1 Compact: She’s fast and light. Larger than Joel but very light, which kinda worries me. Plus point: BABY HAS A SLOT FOR DECO! I now need to find casing.

Temporary name is Kitsune. I might call her something else. In fact I want to, but no name suggests. She’s protesting against me calling her Tsun, because she argues the micro-sim idiocy was my doing, not hers (I was trying to insert it upside down).

The name Freiderike aka Idike will fit her JUST fine. :D

Needs some cleaning

Summary of the Japanese music I have so far. Need to clear the empty ones whoops! Also there should be quite a few overlaps; I tend to get both the singles AND the actual albums lala~

Then I realise how old my collection as I have gibberish songs because computers then did not read Japanese. *hangs head in shame* XD Continue reading

[Poetry] Prophecy Draft

Autumn Winter
Summer December
A stray glance
A misplaced trust
Gone was light
Innocence lost

But for a kiss to be slain
But for a night, to be destroyed.

Forbidden, forbidden
Ah how sweet the fruit
Even sweeter still
The corruption of souls.

~~~~~

A fleeting stray
A gentle glance
A soft heart
Innocence relapse.

Fear and love
Leash and free
The same mistakes,
The same longing.

Different beds in a night
Lovers many but hearts a few
Reap, reap weep and rend
Thus begins the Baron’s revenge.

- The Downfall of the Vermillion Isles
Written by an unknown poet

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Identity

Makishima-senpai on my phoneMakishima-senpai on my phone

What is my identity?

When you talk about identity in Malaysia, it always comes back to race. To where you come from. To your culture. Chinese. Malay. Indian. Eurasian (colonial and not). Whatever.

Which always left me feeling a bit off, because I could never quite grasp them the way. I like culture, but not in quite the same others have internalised them. And then there’s the whole, “If you’re this religion and that race combo” mix, there’s a subtle way pressure to act/identify a certain way.

What is my identity?

I grew up in an English-speaking household. Always felt it was a bit off, because while my friends learnt at least 3-4 languages, in my mixed household we learnt only two.

And neither one was our grandfather’s nor grandmother’s tongues, at least not according to the ethnicity Malaysia had christened them with.

What is my identity?

Stories tell you a lot about the person in front of you. It’s not just the content of the story itself, but how it’s presented, by whom it’s presented, and why it’s presented… We’re all made up of different stories that have led us to where we are. Stories are a journey, but not an end.

Compared to most others, I have a fairly priviledged and safe story. I didn’t quite want for anything growing up, and I have enough to provide for myself, at least. My story’s rather tame, compared to most others.

What is my identity?

The roles we play inform our identity. The labels we stick on ourselves, these form our identity. The feelings, the emotions, the actions we take… this becomes our identity. It is how we identify ourselves to both each other, and to ourselves, a way of marking our presence and reality.

What is my identity?

A sister, I hope. A mother, maybe. A friend. A child. A writer. A spinner of stories. A privileged git. An overbearing and arrogant woman. A people pleaser. A lonely person.

So many, and yet none of these. I am the sum of my stories, and to narrow myself down to a single story, a single identity would be to displace my humanity and the humanity of those who have added to this story.

There’s always a way to move forward.

[Dreams] Of Real Life and Heat

Picture by esc861 on Flickr
Picture by esc861 on Flickr

Things I have learnt today:

If I am sleeping badly due to the heat, I tend to sleep shorter, but have much more intense dreams. Dreams that half-rooted in reality, and taken strongly from the day’s events.

Last night’s dream was one of those. I slept like a baby, awakening every few hours from the heat. The dream I had was… busy. And fairly lucid, I think.

I dreamt I was at an Angela Aki concerto or small fan event somewhere in UM, I think. Or maybe UPM. Definitely one of the unis. She played half on the piano, half on my tablet. I don’t know how, but apparently I had offered my tablet for her to play, and it was beautiful.

So she played, and I think she was running through the entire list of her latest album, and I “fell asleep” halfway. By fell asleep I mean I woke up in real life and had a drink and chatted with some people at 2am in the morning. Then I went back to sleep.

And I dreamt she was still playing, finishing the last of her songs. Then she tried to test the tablet’s responsiveness by flicking her finger quickly through the last few notes, which my Tabitha kept up with. It was wonderful.

I remember her thanks, then clutching my tablet to my chest and hurrying to my seat, a silly grin on my face. Dimmie was with me and then we were supposed to leave. I was embarrassed enough to say yes, so we left with everyone else. Then when we were outside, I realised I forgot to get her autograph.

As we were outside, I suddenly realised that we were supposed to pick up an agent, and so Dimmie was suddenly Expediter from the ENL Faction. We drove like mad in UM/UPM, and he was telling me stuff about the agents and how he was racing DJinn and Mikael to get this other agent. And my scanner had an app that showed the bets people placed on these three to see who could pick up this out of town agent first.

We reached a part of the uni campus where there was this multi-cultural event happening. There was no where to park, but Expediter assured me it was right to leave my car where it was and he got out to look for said agent. I took my car and drove further in, hoping there was an exit, since there were other cars that had gone ahead on the same route.

As I did, I passed my sisters Silvy and Shannon in full costume, who were there for the multi-cultural event. They waved at me but did not ask why I was there.

So I went down this road, reversed at a dead end and then was finally told to park my car in this one corner. As I got down, a familiar-seeming old man told me to wait there because the married couple was coming (I had parked inside a hall that was going to be used for a wedding) and then there was something about my parents coming over too, because the married couple was close to us.

Then there was this family of three that barged into the hall from the back door, talking about bullying the couple, but especially the younger of the pair, simply to show they could. They were chased out by the old man and me, who basically shouted more obscenities than they did and shaming them for their bullying actions.

THEN the couple came in, and I remembered being completely HAPPY at their wedding, and completely unaffected by the fact it was two men getting married. I think it was a moment of “I couldn’t be more happier for them if I tried.”

Then I woke up from the heat. -_-” With Angela Aki’s Aieuo ringing in my ears.

[Shorts] Hazy Days

Image from Flickr.com by jnxyz
Image from Flickr.com by jnxyz

She awoke to the smell of smoke, coughing.

It was so bad that she turned on her side and continued to cough, trying to expel the smoke from her lungs. There was no heat associated with the smoke; her mind immediately supplied that it was the haze. In an odd sort of mind loop, she found herself surprised that she could make such an association, then she realised she had just wanted something to take her mind off the efforts of her body to cough her lungs out.

“Misha?” her partner spoke, awakened by her coughs.

“I’m… ok,” she choked between coughs, then gave up and got out of the bed.

She stumbled somewhat towards the kitchen and poured herself a cup of water. It soothed her throat somewhat, but she still felt like coughing her lungs out. She heard her partner come out of the room, but did not turn. Warm arms enveloped her shoulders, drawing her close.

“Nightmare?” a soft, loving voice near her ear. She shook her head and leant back, grateful for both the warmth and company. Her mind asked her again, what had she done to deserve such an understanding partner?

“No, just this bloody haze,” she finally looked up towards the window.

The city in the valley was covered in a soft grey blanket, like a thick fog. The only difference was that fog was usually cold, not hot. And she felt very warm now.

Though not warm enough to leave her partner’s embrace.

“No running today,” her partner whispered, looking out towards the city.

“Assuming we get water today,” she sighed.

They stood like that for a long time, watching the sun rise over a haze-covered city.

Writing again

Of everything I have ever learned as a literary agent and as a writer, there is one lesson that I think is more important than any other: you must write for your life.- Holly McGhee, Nanowrimo 2013 Peptalk

Nobita reading a Doraemon comic, from the 100 Years Doraemon Exhibit in Kuala Lumpur
Nobita reading a Doraemon comic, from the 100 Years Doraemon Exhibit

When it comes to writing stories, I’m not the kind that plans. I’m the kind that researches what I need, rolls into what I think I want to happen, and then see if there’s a correlation between what I want to write and the culture I’m taking from. Which is how I usually end up with stories set in different cultures, in piecemeal settings that merely hint at the culture I’ve stolen borrowed from.

So yes, I’m pretty much a pantster, as we’re called in Nanowrimo. It brings to mind one of my favourite mantras, which is “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” (side note: Since I can’t actually consume alcohol, I tend to substitute this with cheap sugar and/or food that loosen my inhibitions. Friends who’ve seen me get “high” know what I mean. No weed involved).

Ever since the submissions for Women Destroy Science Fiction and Buku Fixi’s Lost in Putrajaya anthologies were announced, I’ve been hatching ideas and short stories to submit. None of them though, fit what I wanted to say.

Till, appropriately, the very last minute. I submitted the Science Fiction piece the night before, while Lost In Putrajaya’s was submitted MINUTES before the deadline. I fully expect LIP’s piece to be rejected (received the notice for SF’s piece some time ago) but it’s made me want to write more. To let go and just let the words flow, no matter if they were nonsensical or simply words.

I missed that.