Saturday, January 26, 2008

Art: Nature or Nurture?

I caught a bit of Front on TVMobile just now, and there was a short discussion about this topic. Are artists born with the talent (by nature), or do they have to undergo art education (through nurture)?

Photographer Geoff Ang stated that he was self taught, so I guess there must have been a talent there, but as he described himself as self taught, there must have also been learning and acquisition of knowledge there, so can that be counted as education? For me, I'd see education as formal education, ie one goes to an institution where there are formal instructors giving formal instructions and most importantly receiving a grade for the works produced, nothing can be more educationising as grades. Hence, I'd see Geoff Ang as an artist constructed by nature.

However, school directors from both La Salle and NAFA both stated that their institutions provide art students with the fundamentals which they would then use it to their own benefit in creating their art pieces. In a way, I guess they both agree that artists has to be borned with the talent, and that education to them is not a nurturing process but more of a catalysing process. I would have to agree with that if not for the fact that a formal instistution has a grading system. It's not a conscious process, but more of a subconscious process, talent through institutionalisation can be nurtured into losing their use of the talent they have.

To me, everyone can be loosely categorised as "cautious" or "daring", some maybe be of varying degrees in between, but everyone is one or the other. This trait is portrayed in how we want to get things done. A safe person is cautious and makes sure that everything goes well. It doesn't need to be spectacular, it just has to be well, and that's enough to satisfy the "cautious". A risk taker is daring, and goes out to strive for only the best, but when he fails, he sinks the deepest. In effect, he's polarised, when he does well, he's superb, when he does badly, he's shit.

Similarly, artists can be loosely categorised as a safe artist or a daring one. Let's just say that both start out with equal amounts of talent, which do you think would be the one who'd make his mark? I'd say, for better or for worse, the daring one would find his name carved in history whether it's a praise or a criticism. The safe artist would find his name lumped up with half a million other artists. The safe artist would end up living a nice and cosy life, contented with what he has, while the daring artist would most probably be either in debt and living like a cockroach or living lavishly and very happening.

The key here is which would you choose. The opportunity cost for this choice is very high because of the extremely high opportunity cost a daring artist has to pay.

People learn by trial and error, and maybe watching other people making the same mistakes, or learning by their own mistakes. Let's take the daring artist into the classroom to undergo formal art education where his works are graded.

The daring artist will be at his daring best and come up with highly controversial art pieces. Say, if he gets A+es for the first few, he's become cocky because he knows that he's talented and he's getting the grades equivilent to his talent. From there on he'd be coming up with more and more daring works. And at the end of his education, he'd come out into society as an artist created by God himself.

But let's just say that the daring artist comes up with art pieces that somehow doesn't catch the attention of his instructor and gets a bad grade out from it. Remember, art is subjective, teachers are biased humans, and the high opportunity cost a daring artist has to pay. The probability of the daring artist getting a bad grade is very high, say after a few Fs, do you think the daring artist still dare to be daring? I'd say at this point in time, the daring artist for the sake of his grades and overall performance would take on a more cautious approach to his art.

Even though grades might fluctuate, a daring artist would find his slew of A+ grades being pulled down by an equi-number of Fs. The daring artist would still be disheartened and look for ways to salvage his grades. That's where the model behaviour of the safe artist comes in.

The safe artist comes up with normal ideas, take on a more average approach to his king of art. He might be following a certain trend, or might be that he has little originality of his own. Either way, he's be having a constant stream of B grades, with the occasional As and Cs here and there, but never anything lower than a C. Yes, this is your safe artist. And when the daring artist sees the safe artist and see the successes he got out from his little Bs, don't you think that the daring artist would feel neglected and strive to work towards a better grade, or at least something that wouldn't fail on him.

This is the process where the daring artist becomes a safe artist no thanks to the pressures put on by the institution. Yes, I am very much against art education because I think that there is only so much that art students can learn out from it, much of them still rely on coming up with your own original ideas.

A god artist has to be one made by nature and not nurtured. However, we must also agree that putting grades aside and concentrating only on the learning part of education, picking up skills and knowledge, that would have been the most beneficial to the artist without all the other stress. Of course, putting grades aside, the best artist is still one who is has the natural borned talent but must also be capable ofabsorbing knowledge to the best interest in himself.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

deene red

PS: edited, look below!

deene red
My new fluff, deene red. With a mini deene red in the lovely lane habitat with lots of hearts and stars, just right for the upcoming Valentine's Day. And to make wishes come true, there's a rainbow with the Golden Uniko there to make my dear deene red's dreams come true.

Visit my (fluff)friends page here to pet deene red!

As you can see, I've invested quite a lot of time and money into this thing, so this is really my baby, and I'll be taking care of it and playing with it pretty much using up most of all of my online hours.

But before I took the plunge, I really thought about it. Yes, I've always kept up to day with all the new stuff fluff came up with, but I never took part in their competitions and stuff to win those rare Unikos of different colours because I know so what if I win, I can add that into my fluff and it would just make me want even more in the next round of contests. Then when fluff came up with the concept of Gold, I knew that was just a money making machine for fluff. I resisted not to buy and Gold with cold hard cash because I knew where my money was going into, someone else's pockets. Indeed, if the creator of fluff needs money for new servers and stuff, I don't mind donating, but with so many people so quickly buying gold, it's obvious that he didn't need the money from me. I went ahead and exchanged for Gold using my Munny, but that's about it. The queue is damn long and I only managed to get 10 Gold changed because that time I entered the queue early.

The with the new limited edition store, I also got lucky and sold my Turkle for 20 Gold making my total Gold count to 30. Now you can't even get 7 Gold out from selling the Turkles. But there were so many things I wanted that 30 Gold wasn't enough for me. I wanted the red deeno, I wanted the Lovely Lane habitat, I wanted the Candy Land habitat also, I wanted the rainbow, most of all, I wanted the Golden Uniko, which was only given away if you bought 50 Gold which is US$5. I went on thinking about it day and night. My main concern is that I'm getting addicted to fluff, and after buying the Gold this once, I'd feel compelled to buy more Gold next time when there are nicer stuff being unveiled by fluff.

Someone had to tolerate my constant self debates and whinings about fluff until it's come to a point when I think I'm obsessed with thinking about buying Gold. Then last night Someone told me that he bought 20 Gold and asked me if I wanted anything from the Golden (fluff)Shop. Sure I wanted a lot of things, but nothing that he can buy for me. With him as a precedence, I went ahead on my own and bought US$5 worth of Gold. Immediately I bought up everything I wanted.

Then I changed my fluff into deene red. I got Someone to change his fluff to deene blue, now we've got matching fluffs!

It was kind of a heart pain changing fluffs because I bought a lot of things for my old pigu already, especially food. I was stocking up a lot of pigu's favourite foods, and now they're quite useless. Sure, deene red can eat them too, but they aren't deene red's favourites, so I still need to buy more food, and stock up on deene red's favourites.

deene red's favourite food:
full cookie, glazed donut, glazed ham, pink cupcake, ripe watermelon, salad bowl, toast with jam +10
bitten cookie, pumpkin pie, silver-blue fish +9
bunch o' broccoli +8
Please feed my dear deene red too~

Yup, and now on I must snap my card and close my paypal account so that I don't spend anymore money on useless stuff. argh~

Update! Ahh... Just hours after I posted that last post came up new Valentine decorations at fluff, and I just had to get some of those for my dear deene red. So presenting to you my updated deene red!
deene red valentine
So chio right?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spotted on the Toilet Door

I was at IMM the other day, erm, yes IMM, my first time there. We went there because we had this crazy idea of exploring there since I've never been to anywhere in the north and west parts of Singapore. Anyway, the key issue here is spotting this at the toilet door.

It was on the insides of the door of the toilet cubicles. Right above the little hook for hanging of your bags and stuff, you can see my little bag there.

I was sitting atop the toilet bowl when I saw that. The very first thing that struck me was "Damn!" and I looked at the top of the cubicle walls over to the other cubicles.

I think, when you have you panties down in the toilet and are basically half naked, losing a handbag should be the least of my worries. I'm more worried about losing my modesty! If some crook can steal my handbag over the walls of the cubicles, then that crook can bloody hell see me half naked, or worse, god forbid, take incriminating pictures and/or videos of me and post them online or extort money from me, or god knows what else can happen to me.

Yes, handbags are expensive stuff that would pain me to lose, especially since I'm a bag person and I love all my darling bags. And I know losing my wallet, handphone, camera would be almost akin to stabbing me, but those are more like material goods. I can buy another wallet, handphone, camera and stuff. But I cannot get my modesty back once it's lost.

I thought it was pretty funny that such a sign was posted up. I mean, obviously if a person is sitting on the toilet bowl, his eyes can look only in one direction, right? Like at the direction of the sign which would effectually make the sign redundant since the person is already looking at his bags and stuff. Them again, if by some reason or another he isn't looking at that direction, then isn't the sign more redundant?

Friday, January 18, 2008


I have one bloody hour to waste now because of the sheer dumbness of some people, thank you very much. I really don't know why some people can be this dumb, or this slow in understanding, and insist that they are always right.

So, it started off at the LINC desk rather harmlessly. The usual stuff, two people at the station, looking at the call number. Then that person went "Remember the number" to me. Lest not ask me whether or not I want to do so, I'm unable to do so in the very beginning. Two random alphabets put together, three digits, a decimal place and another three digits, tell me how to remember this 8-alphabet-and-number-code? So I said "Write the number down", and there he started giving me this WTF face. But I'm nice, I took out my pen and notebook for him to copy down the bloody number, which he did so with ultimate displeasure.

Then we searched for a second title, which was a book from the closed stacks. This went through my head. Need to wait for one hour. hmm... Copy down the stack number first, now go for class, after class come and write the stack number on the closed stacks slip, go for dinner, just nice one hour later can go pick up the book, yay! But said person went, "closed stacks, sian, forget it" and wanted to walk off. I just had to get him to write the bloody number down so there woun't be a need to check the number again later. And I said "just write the number down first".

Two digits into writing the number code down, he threw my G-Tech onto the desk and stormed off and lectured me for being rude to him. What the fuck?!!

He can go on fuming for all I care. Either he lets me know what the hell is wrong with me, or let me tell him what the hell is wrong with him. But apparently he doesn't want to hear me talk, neither does he want to talk to me, so here I am not knowing what the hell is wrong with me nor knowing what the hell is wrong with him.

If he called me rude because I told him to "write the number down", then isn't he just as rude for telling me to "remember the number"? I don't even know if he understood the reason behind me telling him to "write the number down", I don't even know what the hell he is thinking.

Anyway, throughout the whole class, he starts being a jerk, telling me that I'm rude, when I was merely passing instructions, if his simple mind cannot comprehend my reasons for doing so he can ask me nicely and I'll slowly and nicely explain to him, but no, he doesn't do it. And when I attempt to tell him what I was trying to do, he storms off yet again to don't know where. I just knew I had to get to the library, get that slip of paper down to the little chute and go have my one hour long dinner.

After I did so, he was nowhere to be seen. Still trying to be nice, I retrace my steps and look for him. Then when I spotted him, clearly, he saw me too, but he walked past me without even acknowledging my presence. What the bloody fuck?! So, there he went, flying me aeroplane for tonight's dinner, making me wait an hour for the closed stacks book, and not even knowing what the hell is wrong. Great. What a wonderful Friday evening to end the week.

That's it, either I receive a sincere apology, or a loud shouting match letting me know very clearly what the hell is wrong with everything, I think there's no need for anymore interaction between the two of us already. So much for clear communications. I shall waste another half an hour before going to pick up the closed stacks book, then head home straight, tummy filled to the brime with fumes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Last Semester Ahead

Let's see, I'd spent the first day of the semester sleeping, watching videos, watching TV, sleeping some more, and basically only left my bed for only two hours, and the two hours I was off my bed I spent one and a half hours on the couch. I spent the last half and hour off the bed eating, going to the toilet, and moving from couch to bed and bed to couch. What a great way to start the semester.

Tomorrow, the second day of the semester I'll be going out, watching movies, eating more sausages, shopping, and maybe trying out some new food. What a wonderful second day of the semester, isn't it? I'll be only going to school on Wednesdays and Fridays for the coming two weeks, and all the even weeks. My tutorials and labs are only on odd weeks, and I don't think there'd be too many off them, probably only about five of them each, so I'm looking ahead at a pretty slack semester. Yay!

My timetable.
joan's timetable

I know I know, we haven't bidded for our tutorials yet, how am I to know if I were to get the tutorial slots I want. Heck, for my tutorial bidding, I'm going ahead with only two slots there, one for each tutorial. I will not let anything ruin my pretty timetable.

EU2217 Politics of Contemporary Europe
Anyone who'd seen my Facebook message or MSN message will know what I did. I threw 4300+ points when bidding that module. I basically showed my hand and traumatised the little little year twos and threes~ Yay! I've been wanting to do that since year one when I was traumatised by the seniors who showed their hand for the modules they wanted. This was the perfect module for me to do so because it was hot! I got the module in the end for 1700+ points.

EU3228 EU and ASEAN in the World
I did half of this module when I was in year two sem two before I flew over to Germany for my SEP. I must say I don't think it's an advantage because it won't be the same lecturer as before. Anyway, I'm still looking forward to doing this module and the Politics of Contemporary Europe one because I did the EU Foreign Policy module last semester, and I got a decent grade considering the amount of effort I put in. Usually people do these two modules before doing the EU Foriegn Policy one, but I did that before these two so it should help me a bit, I hope.

I still feel pretty proud of myself going into a level 4000 PS class with only having done two PS modules before, one's the 1101 module and the other a useless level 2000 module, and I actually went in ahead and competed against this bunch of PS students with truckloads of PS modules and some with one or two level 4000 experience in their bag. wahahaha~

EU4224 War and Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe
This like the one of the two EU/HY cross listed level 4000 modules I need to do to fulfil my requirements. Honestly, I'm going in not knowing what to expect. *cross fingers* for me please~

EU4226 Imperialism and Empires
One word to sum it all up, Farrell. Actally, no la, this is the other of the two EU/HY cross listed level 4000 modules that I have to do, so bo bian lor. Anyway, I'm quite looking forward to it because of the two field trips! One to Malacca and the other to Sarawak, yay~ I'll be looking forward to spending my 20+++th birthday in North Borneo! haha, can anything be more cool than this? (Well, yes, like spending my birthday in Europe, or somewhere further away, more exotic, or more luxurious, or more atas, but well, I'm trying to sound enthusiastic here...)

LSM1303 Animal Behaviour
Cool right? I have absolutely no idea what it's about, but it sounds totally cool. Well, wait for me to attend the first lecture then I'll give the real account how the class is like.

But my timetable isn't really a perfect one, just look at my Fridays. So if you see me on Fridays, I'd probably be damn restless and listless and lifeless and whatnotless. Upside, Someone will be with me throughout, so he'd be bearing most of the brunt. But I'm still looking forward to school because 1. I want to buy cheap Twister fries from McDees. 2. I miss Bizad's Western! 3. I missing Science $1.80 Wanton Mee. 4. Can't wait for Munchy Monkey to open again for cheap pasta and desserts. 5. Chezy Mushroom from Coffee Club Xpress. 6. Japanese food from Arts canteen. 7. Beehoon with chicken franks and other snacks from Arts Canteen. 8. Cheap BK~ erm, how come all those I miss of NUS are all food ah? hmm... Something's a bit wrong with little Joan.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I've always wanted to visit Stonegrill but they've been under renovations for a bit. At first I thought that they had closed down, which scared me a bit since I've been hearing rave reviews about that place, thank god it's only renovations. Anyway, Jasmine too has been wanting to try out that place, and there were we!

Stonegrill, with the slab of stone in all glory, mash potatoes and salad by the side, with red wine sauce for the meat. I had the sakura chicken, she had the steak, I ordered another portion of portobello mushroom which Jas took a few slices of.

stonegrill mushroom
Portobello Mushroom.
Although it was only a head of mushroom, it was great. Very juicy, very sweet, very nice. Unfortunately, it only came as a mains which meant that it was a tad expensive and it came along with the mash potatoes and salad which we already had enough of. It would be much better had it came as a side, maybe with other types of mushrooms. I guess, if I return I won't be ordering this again. I'd be wanting to try out the other side dishes in the menu, the proper side dishes are kitchen prepared food, without the hot stone.

stonegrill chicken
Sakura Chicken.
With such a fanciful name, I didn't know what I was expecting, but well chicken is chicken. For the price, it's really worth it. Other than the two thin strips of meat you can see above, there's actually another thick slab of meat, equivalent to the two thin strips which there wasn't enough place on the stone for. Yup, the chicken alone was very much enough filling. And it goes really well with the red wine sauce. I had so much of the red wine sauce that I was served another portion of it. Yup, this is really good service, I got extra sauce!

stonegrill steak
Jasmine's steak.
I'm not a steak eater, and I didn't try the steak, but according to Jasmine, it was really juicy. I think one thing great about steak on the hot stone is that you can control the degree of cooking of the steak.

A little talk about the sides, the mash potato was nice and chunky, but unfortunate had too little gravy on it. On the plus side, it was topped with bacon bits so it was nice and crunchy and very tasty. I'm not a salad person and seldom touch my side of salad, but this salad was very tasty! I especially liked the dressing which we later found out from the waiter that it was tossed in lemon oil, hence the sourish yet tangy but very light taste. Unlike other sourish dressings using vinegar, the lemon oil made it very light and just great for snacking.

I seldom like to go to eating establishments where I'm required to cook my own food (because I suck at it), but there's this novelty factor for Stonegrill, and that the food here was really good despite my less than great cooking. Service was perfect too, and I had the help I needed to properly do the mushrooms. Another thing I prefer Stonegrill to other self-cooking establishments is that the food won't be overcooked. The temperature of the hot stone seemed to won't burn my food despite leaving the food on the stone for too long. So there wen't any chao tar bits at all, all was properly done.

Also, I notice a couple of air vents on the ceilings, so the place was nice and airy without any greasy smell. Also great was the walls, covered in a very artistic red and black pattern. And to top that all, two LCD TVs screening ESPN and StarSports. All you need is a couple of beers to complete the nice laid back experience living in East Coast.

Friday, January 11, 2008

In the Fitting Room

I'm not one who shops regularly, nor do I like to hunt down sales, and the thing I hate the most is shopping with the crowds, yet over the Christmas sales period I chanced upon some pretty good buys. And so I'm now pretty broke, but I also have the fodder for a blog entry, haha. So come with me into the fitting room and check out what I have in store~

I had a job interview some time ago, hence I desperately needed office wear, or something that isn't out of my wardrobe. A peek into my wardrobe and you can only find beach wear, casual wear and several dresses, nothing decent that would make me look like a mature young woman confident to get a job. Hence I needed to buy some clothes. The timing for this clothes hunt couldn't be any worse, it was during the post Christmas sales. Yes, things are dirt cheap, but I hate sales. I can't get the size I want, there isn't any new piece, the things are all over the place, and the crowd and queues are crazy.

And a convenient advice my friend gave me before I went hunting for clothes, "if you like it, don't buy it". Thanks hor...

clothes. frumpy office wear
It looks really ugly.
The white blouse is too transparent, and when matched with black pants I just look like a waitress or something, an ugly waitress somemore.
The black blouse with grey skirt is even more horrendous I can't even describe it.

I wanted to buy perhaps a striped blouse with striped pants, but after trying on various pants, I realised that my hips and thighs are too huge and my legs are not too fat, hence I cannot buy sizes that fit my legs because I wouldn't be able to zip up, and neither can I buy sizes that allow me to zip up because then the legs would be too loose. Hence I thought perhaps I would buy a skirt instead, but well, all the skirts are really ugly.

clothes. decent office wear
Thankfully, not all the office wear I tried on was that bad, this is one good set. I bought one set out of this two, can you guess which it was?

I bought the one on the left even though I think I look better in the one on the right. I had tried out the one on the right earlier, at G2 Black Label. It was expensive, even with the discount. And the clothes were not in the best condition, buttons were held by a single thread, about the fall off, fabric a bit dirty from too many people trying it on I supposed.

But I'm glad I ended up buying the one on the left. It was the last place I visited and well, it was a very good bargain. Let me talk about the pants first. I picked up the pair of pants from an unmarked rack, and there weren't any price labels on the pair of pants, I just took two pairs in different sizes from the rack to try which is my size. It turned out that the two pairs of pants aren't the same in different sizes, the smaller size one which I couldn't fit in was a capris. But the larger size one was the perfect pants for me. Before paying, I asked a sales assistant how much it was and she told me $49 before discount, so it should be $29 after discount. What a steal! The best part, after she scanned the code, it turned out that there was further discount and the pair of pants cost me only $23~

The blouse also had another interesting story. I spotted the blouse on display on a mannequin, and went to look for it on the racks. There was 3 pieces left, two in 34 and another in 36. I usually fit a size 36, but I think the cutting of G2000 is smaller than most other brands. After trying out a whole ton of clothes, it is indeed that I fitted into a size larger in G2000 than the other labels. Anyway, I tried on 36 and although it fitted, it was too snug, and my tummy was bulging out. There weren't any in a larger size. I was so disappointed as I was walking out when I spotted the display mannequin again. In a spur of a moment decision, I went to check the size of the display mannequin, and guess what, it was a 38!

Immediately I wanted to get someone to help me strip the mannequin of that piece, but my sister advised me against it. She used to temp at another label and their policy is to have as little trouble as possible so no stripping of mannequins. But I didn't really care. I once bought a mannequin display piece of a dress from Celia Loe, that sales assistant was so patient even though I told her that don't need to go to that trouble. Anyway, being a demanding customer, I decided to get someone to strip that mannequin. I mean, I was 95% sure I was going to buy that piece. Unfortunately, the guy who tended to me looked like a temp staff who was totally clueless. He went to the racks and back and told me there was no more 38, I had to repeat that I wanted the display piece because I already know there's no more 38 on the racks. Then he went back to the racks and came back saying that they have it in black. damn! Is this guy dense or what? But I had to keep my cool becuase if I look like a troublesome customer I might not get the help I needed to get my way. I told him again plainly and obviously that I wanted the display piece. It was only then that he ran off and looked for a more senior staff to see how she could help me. And that senior staff was really good, she stripped the mannequin and gave me that piece, and didn't bother to check if I was definitely buying it, and went ahead and clothed the mannequin in that black version of the blouse.

Yes, I am very happy with my buy, more satisfied because I knew I did all I could to get my hands on that piece. Totally no regrets at all. $59 before discount and $41 after discount, much pricier than the pants but every cent worth. The pants is really dirt cheap la. Ooh, and I really like that sash thingie around the neck, it was the reason why I bought that blouse. All striped blouses all look the same, and Joan isn't the kind of person who likes to look the same as others, haha...

After those purchases, I thought I was done shopping at Parkway, but on the way out, we spotted OP have storewide sale. A little pop inside made me $40 poorer. haha~

clothes. back to school wear
I love tunics, they can hide my tummy, cover my fats, very cool and comfortable, and makes my boobs look existent.

The white piece was a bit transparent so despite me having tons of clothes in red, I went for another red piece. The piece I bought was the last new piece~ I really like the butterfly print by the side of the tunic. Then I bought another pair of skorts too, the black one in the right picture. Good for school since I'm now like rotating among that few pieces of shorts/skorts/skirts. My sister bought another white and red/pink tunic which I would be sharing with her, so we can maximise our wardrobe while minimise spending. yay, for having a sister~

clothes. pretty dresses
Remember the black dress I wore when I went out with the girls? Yup, I bought this a little before Christmas at Marina Square. My sister and my aunt were buying Christmas presents for our relatives while I was just lurking around when I spotted this dress on a mannequin on display. I really like the beaded things around the neck and it made a simple black dress so much more exquisite, besides, the cutting of the dress was nice and airy and could flatter my fat body. But the shop only had one piece left, in S when I wanted an L. But bo bian, then I went around the area and walked one big round before coming back to that same shop again, and this time, I spotted the neighbouring shop selling the same dress, just that it wasn't on display. I immediately went in and asked for an L, but that person only had it in M. I was a bit disappointed, but was egged on to try the M since the shop assistant said the the cutting was big. Let's just say it was a perfect fit. haha~ And it was on discount, $35 for a dress only, I'm so easily contented.

I thought I had enough of clothes already when I went by thirtyseven degrees at VivoCity. I was heading to the cinema and never intended to buy anything from anywhere until I saw that dress on a mannequin on display. Yes, I only see clothes which are on mannequins, haha. Similarly, there was only one piece left for S and M and no Ls. I was a bit skeptical when I decided to try on the M one because thirtyseven degrees is notorious for having very small cutting. But the M fitted me very nicely, in fact it was a bit loose even. I had to try on the S too. Between the S and M, the S had accentuated my armpit fats and the zip was a bit spoilt, which the M was a bit loose around the neck and back area. I went ahead with the M in the end. I'm still very happy with my $49 purchase, and I'll save it to wear on Chinese New Year. I can pig out and the dress can hide my fats.

Joan is a happy girl~

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What Is Death?

I know I'm only 20++ going on to 20+++, but somehow, this thought crept into my mind. What is death? Am I going to heaven, or hell, since I'm not a Christian; or am I going to be reincarnated; or am I just going to disappear? I'm trying to understand death by trying to look into the religious beliefs and also the scientific or logical explanation, but both doesn't allay my fears. Yes, after living for 20++ years, this is my first time being so fearful of death.

I've never been afraid of death. I was probably more afraid of the pain I were to suffer before I die, but now, I don't know why, this mindset has changed. I'd be able to endure all sorts of pain as long as I can survive, but well, this is my present mindset. Perhaps, when faced with different circumstances in the future my thinking might change again.

What is there after we die?

Using logical thinking, I think that death is just like sleeping, without the dreams. When we sleep, when we don't dream in our sleep, time passes by in a flash. Before we know it, we awake again. Hence, death might just be like sleeping just that we don't wake up, we'd lose consciousness and not know about anything that happened. It's just like a person suffering from amnesia. He doesn't know what happened to him before he lost his memory, ie after we die, what we would feel, what our souls and memory be like is like a person's lost memory. Stopped at that moment, never to be recovered.

I would be reassuring in a way because we consciously would cease to feel, and hence cease to fear, but also because of that, my fear becomes that which would happen. After I die, there would not be any Joan left in the world. I wouldn't be able to feel anything, I'd cease to exist, then now the me... My world centres around me, I cannot imagine the world carrying on without me because I've been so accustomed to the whole me idea.

If say I believed in the supernatural and that after we die we would become ghosts, then say if I were to die, I'd become a ghost. How does a ghost live? From folklore with a bit more logical thinking, ghosts would exist because the soul has unfinished business. Those who doesn't have unfinished business, or those who are willing to move on, would not be ghosts, instead, there's the end road for them, more about this later. I'd like to discuss a bit about ghosts now. Say, if there were ghosts and I were to die, would I want to be a ghost? Right now I'd say yes, I still have unfinished business, but how am I to accomplish all that, and when would I be able to give up on my unfinished business and move one?

I have a lot of things I want to do in my lifetime, but will I be able to do all that as a ghost? I don't know. I'd imagine life as a ghost is pretty boring and repetitive, hence without a very strong desire, ghosts would choose to move on. So do I have a strong desire? I don't know. But I know I'd have a very strong jealousy streak in me. If I were to see people happy about my death, I'd be more than angry and upset. I would want people to remember me, miss me, and continuing to remember and miss me. I'd certainly not want to see Someone moving on in life and replacing me with another girl. So what is my mission in staying on in this world? I don't know...

Then how about moving on? That's what I fear. At least if I were a ghost, I'd know that I'm still me, I still have the soul and consciousness that I know I'm Joan. But if I move on, I'd either disappear entirely or have all my memories ereased off and become something else, which I won't know. In a way, I've still disappeared. It's really very scary to think about one day if there isn't any more me. Call me self-centred, but ya, that's what I am. We all are, in some way or another.

Recently I've also been watching quite a few movies about the end of world, humanity dying. It's not just individuals dying but collective groups of people dying for causes that we see as supernatural or not normal, or fictional. I've watched Aliens vs Predator 2 and I Am Legend, within the past week, and I'll be watching Cloverfield some time next week after it opens. And that's what I've been thinking, what if humanity were to face such a massive disaster, where would I stand? Will I die?

The idea of monsters lurking out there ready to kill me is sort of haunting, I'm scared. I'm scared of the unknown, and there's nothing we know about the monsters out there so how am I going to deal with them. I'm not much resolute to fight them, or try and escape, I'd end up being killed by them, and it feels like a very horrible death.

What if large amounts of people were to die together, won't there be too many ghosts left roaming about? What if there are no more space left for the ghosts? Then there's the questions if the monsters are able to see and/or interfere with the ghosts. See, as with humans, ghosts should be unique to our world. And say, if our world were to be overrun by monsters, won't they want to take over the ghosts as well, but can they see the ghosts? Or maybe, there never were ghosts in our world at all, then it'd be easier for the monsters.

The virus thingie sounds a bit scarier than the idea of monster attack. In a monster attack, although we don't know much about the monster, at least we know it is a monster. How do you identify a virus with ones bare eyes? I remember the SARS outbreak, it came to almost being a national crisis, a tremendous horror story. Like the spread of SARS, it's also possible that another virus outbreak is possible, maybe a SARS/AIDS mutated virus or something like that. And soon it becomes like the KV of the one in I Am Legend.

Between a monster attack and a virus outbreak, I think I'd rather experience a monster attack and die from it. Death seems much more certain and immediate. I don't know what might happen to me should I suffer the virus attack. If death is imminent, it's probably a horrible, lonely, quarrantined death, which just sucks. If I get mutated into a vampire, I seriously don't know how I'm going to deal with that, I'd rather die. Still, both scare the shits out of me.

Looking back at history and examining what we are experiencing now, I seem to think that our life has been more than rosy. Throughout history, there has been wars and plagues, and suffering and whatnots, yet here we are totally happy and contented. Our lives seems so much better than anyone else who lived through history. I sort of feel that could this be a chilling foreshadowing of something much more sinister to come and catch us all unawares?

Life seems too good for me now, I'm really scared that if turbulent times were to fall upon me I won't be able to adapt to it. And yes, I'm very much afriad of death.

Remember what I said about death and sleeping? Death is something like sleeping with the dreams and everything alive. Well, lately, I've been afraid of going to sleep. I'm scared that with this sleep I won't wake up again, and everything will come to an end for me. Likewise, every time I open my eyes after a sleep, I'd feel thankful that I'm still alive and breathing. It doesn't help allay my fears with the rising reports of young people dying from unknown causes in the sleep.

I don't want to add to that statistic,

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Girls' Night Out

Sorry for the neglecting of the blog, I've been so busy with so many things, but more about that another time. Finishing up with the batch of posts I wanted to do the previous time, this is girls' night out piece.

This the annual Christmas gathering cum gift exchange with the girls, and it's really wonderful that all of us were able to make it. Nicely dolled up, pretty and becoming more and more mature, it's nice to see the girls again. Even though Yingling, Jasmine and Eunice are still in school with me, we hardly get to see each other, with the occasional his and byes along the corridors. I did try to arrange like a weekly lunch session with Jasmine, but to our horror, when we compared time tables we realised that whenever I'm in school, she's not. It's like all my free days she had class, and vice versa. Worse was the days we both were in school, I'd be having morning classes and she afternoons, or that I had afternoon classes on her morning days. Kinda not fated sia...

christmas with my doubly lovely ladies
Pretty pretty girls. I wore a new dress there!

christmas with my very lovely ladies
We had dinner at Swensen's at Holland V. But we didn't have our desserts there, we headed over to 2am Dessert Bar for desserts and another round of camwhoring.

christmas with the camwhoring lady posers
Jasmine and I went really crazy.
While walking over to the dessert bar from Swensen's, we passed by this beauty salon with cool blue lights, which just called out to us to take pictures with it. Then after our desserts, we spotted the sign of the dessert bar, and some weird objects lying around, which triggered off another round of posing and phototaking.

christmas plus girls equals photos
Real fun~

christmas gift exchange
Check out out gift exchange!
Look at all of us with our gifts, I wanted to type out who received what gifts from whom, but then I realised that I couldn't remember everything, so haha, shouldn't say too much here and reveal my ignorance. lol~

christmas dinner with the girls
A nicely taken picture of all of us at Swensen's, even though some people's heads are smaller than some others, but still a very nice picture there.

christmas all heads in picture
Our standard self taken picture while trying to fit everyone's heads inside. Pity two left early, you spotted them?

Okay, I know my blogging's getting more slipshoddy, but I'm really busy. School's going to start soon, I should have more time in the early weeks of school before mid term break sets in. Good luck to all who've started, or are starting school after the nice and yummy winter holidays~