August 31, 2011

Some things I have been obsessed with (many)

I am ridiculously obsessed with this image. The perfect pair of pants, the perfect platform heel, the slightly oversized top. This will be my uniform for the rest of college- I will never wear jeans again!!!
(Will take words back tomorrow)

Some thoughts:
- It's only Tuesday (i.e. the 4th day of school) but I already feel like I've been run over by a truck. I am a little flustered bird all the time, running from place to place to place, hitting myself on the head because my brain hasn't kicked back into School gear. It's not a very good thing.
- Work is cleansing, I think. I've sent out so many emails today that I'm surprised my gmail hasn't rebelled and thrown me out. But at the same time there's this hugely satisfying tiredness that comes from staring at a computer screen for hours at a time sending emails and knowing you're ticking all these things off the list.
- Game of Thrones > Lord Jim. Clearly, this is bad because Game of Thrones also > managerial accounting homework, and Game of Thrones > CSR readings. AND I'M ONLY ON THE FIRST BOOK.
- Not getting into French is making me extremely sad, but my microecon professor (the class I'm taking instead of French- oh how the mighty have fallen sigh) has difficulties logging into the Haas computers and says things like "when we talk about the supply curve, we'll go in search of this other mythical creature, the profit maximizing price taking firm," so this should be a hilarious semester all around.

I'll be back with more insightful comments about life... probably never, but there's always hope.

August 28, 2011

"A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck"

Slouchy pants, denim shirts, woolly sweaters and oversized Rolex men's watch? Yes, please!

Image from Tomboy Style.


"The value of a myth is that it takes the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity. The child enjoys his cold meat (otherwise dull to him) by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes to him more savoury for having been dipped in a story; you might say that only then is it the real meat. If you are tired of the real landscape, look at it in a mirror. By putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it." C.S. Lewis
I have been very drawn to myth making lately- Paradise Lost, Ballet Shoes [by Noel Streatfeild], Harry Potter. What does it mean to leave a mark on the world; what does it mean not to be forgotten when one dies? It makes me nervous, this knowledge that what I'm filling my life up with now may end up being so insignificant, that I'll only remain a self onto myself and pass through here cleanly. /This idea of myth-creation, of a rediscovery of the old- Berkeley now sometimes feels painfully familiar, like these streets and landmarks and restaurants (you know where my heart lies, haha) have become staid, musty home. But coming back again, and again, remembering the layers of students that have poured through this place- it just reminds me over and over again how very privileged I am to be here right now.

Summer internship: in lists

I'm still slightly stuck in the past- I really love being back, back in my own space (I'm almost all moved in, which is really great for my heart rate because just seeing all the boxes lying unopened in my bedroom space was giving me heart palpitations), back in school and learning stuff, but I am still thinking about home a lot. I'm not very good with change (understatement). I think part of that is also the really amazing time I had at my internship. Yes it was tough giving up my weekends/ weeknights to be at events where I didn't really know how necessary my presence was, or to be in charge of leading people around backstage when I barely even knew how to navigate, or, a hundred other things that made me annoyed in that awkward in-between adjusting beginning. But there were so many other things I learnt and so many people I've met that completely validates my choice to spend my summer at the Esplanade.

[1] & [2] The gorgeous views from inside: Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion (Singapore icon)
[3] The transparencies I helped the visual arts interns do to be sent out to Singapore schools
[4] The Studios resource table at the National Library that Hazel and I devised and constructed

[5] On the Waterfront with Amanda Tee and the Dugong Warriors- at the Outdoor Theatre with the amazing Marina Bay/ financial district skyline as a backdrop
[6] Baybeats postcards!!
[7] Yfest dance crew rehearsals
[8] Our Beatles cover with the Carrefour carts that we trundled across Suntec and Marina Square, to the amusement of many many lunchtime office folks

Looking back at these pictures- I have so many great memories, so many great stories (e.g. How do you get a sleeping deaf person out of his hotel room if his [hearing] partner's also asleep?), so many great experiences.

Things that I've learnt:
1. I have been culturally deprived in Berkeley because I've been too lazy to get off my ass and just buy some tickets. This must change. Over the summer, I watched so many productions, shows, concerts, that I realised how much not watching theatre or concerts has taken away something from me. Like I've just slowly ignored this little part of myself and left it to wither.
2. It's okay if you're not doing something- I know that I'm the kind of person who needs to be constantly doing something in order to validate my presence. But this summer I've learnt that it's okay to sit back, listen to some Youtube, and experience the moment; that presence can be enough (and it doesn't mean I'm being a bad intern or a waste of space).
3. The arts are more powerful than even I think- and that I'm only just beginning to know how to articulate this fact to the naysayers out there.
4. The people you work with are equally important as the work that you do- my colleagues are some of the most kind-hearted, thoughtful, dedicated, amazing people & it was really such a privilege learning from them.

Dearest Esplanade, I will never forget this lifechanging summer.

August 26, 2011

Cream blouses

It is technically still summer, since the first day of Fall is September 23rd but, ha ha, Berkeley doesn't seem to have gotten the memo and it's been cloudy and chilly for the past 2 days I've been back. Yes I am such a wuss! Singapore humidity has thinned my blood. That hasn't stopped me from thinking about gauzy cream blouses though.

These prices are slightly (hrmph) out of my price range, but I really love how each blouse/sweater is normal enough to wear to a more professional event, but at the same time have little details that make them cooler than a boring white button-up (which, btw, I still have not found the perfect one).

The first 2 days of school has been exciting but a little sad, and I'm really disappointed that I might not get into my French class afterall. Je suis depressed.

August 25, 2011

Back in Berkz

Schedule, 8/28:
5.30am Get woken up by Daniel's alarm
6am Cannot get back to sleep
6.05am Toss
6.10am Turn
6.15am Drag self out of bed and continue unpacking kitchen stuff
6.30am Successfully made kitchen resemble a semblance of kitchen; try to boil water for coffee
6.32am Fail.

9.30am First day of junior year

2pm Work
3.45pm Calapalooza prep
4.30pm Calapalooza
7pm Info session

Yes indeed, back in Berkeley.

August 22, 2011

Happy birthday to A Squirrel

To the one who
  • Throws nuts at squirrels and gets confused at THEM for not running away
  • Likes to swerve across multiple lanes of traffic to make the exit
  • Makes me watch the NBA with him even though I'd rather be watching E!
Who is also the one who
  • Stays over with me when I'm afraid of being abducted by aliens (true story)
  • Wakes up at ungodly times of the morning to drive me to school
  • Washes my dishes when I am depressed
  • Gives the best hugs
  • Is always up for the stupidest and most epic things (e.g. LA roadtrip)
  • Always believes in us
Happy 21st, Dan! I'm really sad I can't be with you on your day of alcoholism, but please remember that you have to pick me up from the airport the next day and control yourself :)

Second last day in Singapore, and last day at work! I am sad because I am sappy and easily emotional like that. Also because my father hid my passport today and I freaked out thinking that I wouldn't be able to go to work tomorrow because I would have to rush out my F1 visa so I could get back to Berkeley in time not to be kicked out of all my classes. Is this a sign? Am I this much of a workaholic?? Don't answer.

August 21, 2011

J Crew does it again

Seriously, must J Crew be so perfect? The cashmere sweaters on the ballerinas look so yummy and warm for the foggy Berkeley nights. Also, they make me feel guilty for not keeping to my summer resolution of taking ballet classes at SDT.

My head hurts a little bit now. I should learn how to manage expectations better.

Images from J Crew via The Terrier and Lobster.

August 19, 2011

Thursday music (fine. it's technically Saturday)

It's Baybeats weekend!!!!! I've been having a lot of fun tweeting, checking out the acts, sitting down, listening to lots of good music. Can't believe it's finally here, and that this is my last weekend hanging out in the office. It's a little exhausting, but this summer has been a billion times more fun that I envisioned. I'll be posting some photos about my summer soon, but in the meantime:

1. Andrew Bird's Don't Be Scared
2. The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby (tear-jerker classic)
3. Noughts and Exes' The Start of Us

Guessed the theme?

Noughts and Exes is this brilliant, brilliant band from Hong Kong who really wowed me last night at their Baybeats set. They are all impeccably dressed (think boys in suspenders and oxfords) and are really amazing performers! Andrew Bird is, obviously, ridiculous; The Beatles- what can I say? I cried the first time I heard this song.

If you're at Baybeats this weekend- let me know! I'd love to hang out.

Image from Daniela Henriquez, whose Flickr photostream is like a little river of illustration amazingness. (The balloon in the picture is clearly representing my hidden tear-streaked face at the thought of leaving)

August 17, 2011

To infinity, &beyond!

I've been looking for some large chunky jewelry for some time now, and these gorgeous crystal-studded ones from Singaporean Etsy store AstralEYE are definitely hitting the spot.

Kind of like wearing a rainbow, but better.
All images from the AstralEYE Etsy store.

Birds, occasionally caged

Notes for a Suicide
Felix Cheong

I have a thread
round each wrist
which I know I can unstitch
anytime I wish.

Hands freed, thumbs crossed,
fingers restless as wings,
I have become that crow
roosting in my dreams.


I am leaving soon and everything seems so final, like a goodbye that keeps bidding farewell. It is difficult, setting down roots here and finding myself back home only to rip myself out continually. Sometimes I think the pain is what drives me- the challenge of challenge itself. How many times can you discover yourself anew? How many times can a goodbye be said without ringing hollow across an empty airport and an empty circle? How many times can you tell yourself to keep moving on when you're unsure of where you're moving towards?

I read this poem some time ago, a long time ago. When I read it again tonight, after watching Family Outing (of the Man Theatre Festival; it is a very well-written play. It made me very uncomfortable- maybe that's how the best plays should be), it reminded me of myself right after JC, lost and unchallenged and comfortable but ready, too ready to leave. I am different now, but only by degrees.

Images by Hong Kong-based Simon Birch

Wrist wreaths

I am a huge fan of bracelets, but my little bird wrists are too thin for large jangly ones, and anyway they look kind of gaping and awkward on my hands (this is the reason why I never wear bangles or rings, they fall off in the sink too easily)

But these wrap bracelets are perfect for many reasons:
  1. They fit any wrist because you can bundle them around your hand as many times you need
  2. You do-it-yourself (which might be a good or bad thing depending on how artistically inclined you may be)- which means you get to customize the length regardless
  3. The instructions are ridiculously simple and require minimal dexterity, which is always good for those challenged in the hand-eye coordination department (a.k.a. me)

More instructions for Honestly WTF's DIY Hex Nut Bracelet here.

Further instructions for Honestly WTF's DIY Chan Luu-inspired wrap bracelet here.
All images taken from the Honestly WTF website.

[Can you tell] I've been trying to keep my hands (and hopefully my mind) occupied on the 17h flight back to Berkeley? I'm not the knitting type, so I think knotting bracelets would be a more achievable task.

August 16, 2011

And it'll be, just as quiet when I leave

Before/ while seeing this set of images, please listen to Rachael Yamagata's Quiet. I've been really drawn to white, quiet spaces lately. I think it's because of all the noise and the bustling things to do that my summer has really been taken over with. It's not necessarily a bad thing (I get bored easily), but it's just something that I'm easily tired of, sometimes.

I can't believe this is my last full week in Singapore, that I'm seeing beautiful Berkeley next Wednesday, that I'm relinquishing my pass next Tuesday. There's a part of me that doesn't quite believe it yet. It is always so hard to leave, but hard(er?) to come back.

But- that globe, the cozy blanketed reading nook, the little sculptured trees. So simple and pretty.

Images from Bolaget via Seesaw Design/ Soon Lee

August 12, 2011

Got a secret, can you keep it?

Okay this shop isn't really a secret, nor do I really want you to keep it (and yes, I should stop watching trashy teen TV shows like Pretty Little Liars), but EVEN THOUGH my bank account now has the grand balance of $1.15 (Singapore dollars one dollar fifteen cents only), I STILL bought over $15 worth of stuff with the limited cash I had left when I went to Cat Socrates yesterday.

But these stickers.

How could I resist their adorably patterned little round selves?? I just had to have them (in addition to several postcards I am not featuring because I'm giving them away as gifts- the only way I know how to assauge my guilt). The shop, tucked away in a little corner in Bras Basah Complex, is a mesh of vintage toys, canvas tote bags, and a very well-curated selection of postcards. It would also be a nice little place to while away an afternoon:

That is, if I ever find the time to do so. Life is all aflutter because it's the start of some whirlwind festival making, but it is all really exciting and I'm really pumped for the next 2 caffeine-fueled weeks!

Cat Socrates is at:
#03-39 Bras Basah Complex
231 Bain Street
Singapore 180231

First image, scanned by me. All other images via their website.

August 10, 2011

Thursday music- soundscapes

These songs make me feel like I should be in a quiet, dark room. Or in a Harry Potter movie. (I guess in the case of the 2nd piece, in an Indonesian-inspired Harry Potter?) I am not usually a big fan of music without lyrics, but consider me a recent convert:

1. A Universe Made of Strings by In Each Hand a Cutlass
2. unknown piece by GammaRays
3. October by Eric Whitacre

They also remind me a lot of Christopher Kane's galaxy-inspired Resort 2011 collection (let's agree to ignore those misguided fuzzy shoes). Love the tulip-shaped skirts and the casualness of the dresses. Today's songs are like that too, I think, all sparkly and glowing and wide-spanning.

Autumny, TOASTy goodness

It's a little too hot (understatement of the year, it's blazing out there) to be thinking of cool weather clothing, but I can't resist after walking by a Massimo Dutti storefront yesterday with the most brillantly styled pleated skirt and grey woolly sweater. I just really love the warm yummy colours of TOAST's early Fall catalogue & the use of such interestingly textured materials. e.g. blueberries? Brilliant.

All images via TOAST.

August 9, 2011

Letterpress- in Singapore!

I am a huge fan of the letterpress- I am in fact dying to take one of Jordan Ferney's letterpress classes in San Francisco except that 1. I still haven't decided what my business cards should say 2. She is currently in Paris. Boo. But anyway, it was a huge and lovely surprise to me to find out that Singapore now has a letterpress studio!

Introducing the gorgeous prints and colours from Paper Tiger Press:

I love the subtle oriental influences, the absolutely STUNNING envelopes- the blue/white tiled print on the inside of the first one reminds me so much of the floor of a Peranakan shophouse, and the ornateness of the return address on the second! Gave me palpitations of happiness. The attention to detail is just impeccable. Including their super adorable namecards-

I die.

Head on over to Paper Tiger Press for more gorgeous products, including bespoke letterpress stationery. BESPOKE! Agh, the possibilities. I might even write more actual letters and less emails if I had such lovely paper to write on.

All images from their online gallery and equally lovely blog.

Red, white, and always beautiful (no matter the weather)

Twitter followers would know by now that I completely slept through the national day parade in its full nationalistic regimented glory, after spending the day at work (and ironically in the thick of the action right before it peaked for the fireworks and the parade). But in honour of my beloved country, I wore red & white today. Some gorgeous red and white items I wish I had in my closet, and a yummy leopard-preenz Louboutin flat to represent the Singaporean not-so-secret past-time, hating on people who appear less intelligent than we are:

Happy 46th Birthday, Singapore!
There are many things I dislike about you, but also many more things I love about you: my family, my friends, my chili crab (yes, mine), my hawker food, my kopi-ping, my milo. You will always have my heart.

August 8, 2011

for anyone who wants to fly~

Not going to lie- I love my job, but it: 1. sucks being unpaid 2. kinda sucks when you have no real time to yourself/ for anyone else 3. seriously sucks if you only take both 1. and 2. into consideration. In all fairness, I am having an amazing time learning on the job, have some of the best colleagues ever, and really do love my job (but not the way it has basically taken over my summer). Just feeling a little burnt out and tired- it's one of those Mondays after coming back to office from a weekend also spent in the office (oh wait, do other people actually have weekends off?? That's strange...) (KIDDING. I did have most of Sunday off. And last Sunday too.)

Su Blackwell's work though, has just completely captured me. She does these whimsical, magical works of art with just paper, books, and a huge dash of creative genius. I want to run away into her woodsy craft world!!

[1] The Baron in the Trees: so, so drawn to this piece after assisting for the BRILLIANT Ramesh Meyyappan show, Snails and Ketchup, 2 weeks ago, which was inspired by this same novel, The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino.
[2] Detail from Hazel Tree
[3] The Wild Swans, which reminds me of The Wild Swans at Coole by Yeats and Wild Swans by Edna St Vincent Millay- poems which really convey some of the soaring magicalness (yes I'm making that a word) of swans in flight, I think.
[4] Detail from the skirt of a dress that she constructed out of paper. There are no words.

Anyone want to come live with me in her world? Ready to leave now kthxbai.
All images from her website.

August 5, 2011

Possibly the most perfect outfit ever

The slightly billowing, unbuttoned sleeve cuffs. The pleated skirt. The small brown bag. This photograph has basically fueled the 2 hours I spent in Marina Square yesterday looking for suitable button-up silk shirts to purchase (I failed, unfortunately).

This photo of Giovanna Battaglia and her simple, lovely outfit via Garance Dore.

August 4, 2011

&we are tired from walking over and under this town

Does sleeping at 4am and getting up at 8.30am to get to work by 9.30am turn one into an excessive blogger? Possibly, since this is my third post today. But these sneak peeks of the new Free People catalogue are too delicious not to put up.

Love the play of light and hued color (yes, I did just use "hue" as an adjective). And Venice!- so, so gorgeous. Can't wait to plan my solo European adventure this winter break. Can't wait to be home in T-20 days. Is it possible to feel a sense of home in two places at the same time? I feel like wherever I go, I have the other trapped in me- a missing, a longing, a never-being.

More pictures of the Free People August catalogue here.

August 3, 2011

Metallic emoticons

Stumbled across these adorable emoticon rings on one of my Tumblr binges (you know what I'm talking about, right? When you get onto Tumblr and then 6 hours later you're still here, obsessively clicking around) (Please tell me I am not alone in this) The smiley one is too cute. Imagine wearing it- everytime you looked down on your finger, you'd be greeted by this dorky face :) Would make any day (even one as dreary as this) happier.

All images from the Chao and Eero website.