September 30, 2011

Philosophy in poster form

Some deep thoughts to carry you through Friday?

Two of my favourite things venn diagrammed into one: simple shapes and big ideas.
Brillant posters by Gens Carrerax, Gex, via Design Souffle

September 29, 2011

Little bits of happinesses

I've been feeling so cranky and downright annoyed with the world lately- I don't even know why. The past three days have been a blur of homework, teenage angst, and petty tantrum throwing in the direction of my (still unfinished, but we're getting there) English paper. Last night I journalled on paper for the first time in a long time; I did a couple of line drawings that I think I might scan to here soon, but it just made me realise how long it's been since I've actually created something- putting together outfits, while fun, don't really count. And to distract myself,

A Little List of Happinesses
1. The thought of receiving my adorable Forever 21 peter pan collared top in the mail sometime next week
2. Listening to Adele on loop
3. Making up words like happinesses
4. This verse. It feels sometimes like the work is neverending and no matter how hard you work- it never ends. I know I felt like this in that turbulent period after getting back my A' Level results, and it felt like everything that I had worked so hard for meant nothing, that what I thought was success actually didn't count for anything in this world; I think I still struggle with that a lot.
5. The green post-it on my noticeboard that reads
"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
From this poem by Mary Oliver, one of my favourite poets.
6. The satisfaction of tying together three single-spaced pages of text. No matter how much I bitch about writing papers, the feeling after you're done and you can stand back, proud and beaming at your work- can't be beat.

Friday in 1h 22min! Hooray!

September 27, 2011

I am obsessed

Instead of working on the massive amounts of work and studying I have to do today, I ended up doing some online shopping because my insides felt all icky and whiny and gross (Forever 21, btw, is having free shipping on purchases over $21; I bought 3 (!) necklaces and an adorable peter pan collar top.) Sigh I am such a terrible person ): But I am OBSESSED with this Zara dress- the teal green colour, the buttons up the back, the elegant perfect for work/ classy party vibe...

...too bad it's $89.90 pre-tax and shipping.
I am now going to dutifully stalk the Zara site until it goes on sale/ if it ever goes on sale D:

Dress from Zara, i.e. place my paycheck will go to once I actually have a paycheck.

Vintage magazine covers

It's a beautiful sunny day in California (: Been feeling stressed and cranky all day (midterm season), but I now feel like I can face anything with impunity after my iced vanilla latte from Cafe Milano. Caffeine is all-powerful.

On another note, looking at these old magazine covers make me so happy! I don't know. They seem more like posters that I'd frame and seem so perfectly to capture the spirit of the moment- that arched foot, that blue sky, that keen and straight stare. Why don't magazines these days look like this? No more celebrity covers I say!

Images from My Vintage Vogue

September 26, 2011

TBG in cupcakes!

Ju Ju and I usually bake a lot but we haven't been up to speed this semester (except for one night of 1am chocolate cupcake baking- that was ridiculously delicious)/ we also don't usually document our baking activities (which is sad; we should). So I proudly present what my team came up with during the TBG retreat- representing TBG in 26 cupcakes and a ton of frosting!


Final result, complete with beaming engineers:

Projects from last semester, lovingly frosted by Ashlyn, Satej, and me:

This semester's projects! So excited!! They are extremely abstract, I have realized, which is good for client confidentiality. haha.

The cupcake bridge was indeed a feat of superior cupcake engineering, held together with knives wrapped in the tin foil that the frosting was wrapped in (no joke), blue frosting, and a whole lot of finger crossing. Reminder to self: must bake more/ must take more pictures of baking adventures.

Credits to Angela and Ashlyn for the pictures!

Someone like you

Oh Berkeley, your crazy weather makes me want to tear my hair out sometimes. These shots of Hanneli Mustaparta (model/ photographer/ blogger triphenate extraordinaire) perfectly capture what I want to wear at this time of the year-

Chunky knits, short skirts, tiny bags- that white dress in the bottom left of the picture is seriously making me feel like running to my nearest H&M and purchasing the short swirly black dress I've been running my hands over every time I step into that store. Who cares if I don't have any occasion I can think of now that I'd wear that to?!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Images from the Hanneli blog

September 25, 2011

More well-designed posters

Haven't really been feeling well these past couple of days- which sucks, because TBG retreat at Bodega Bay this weekend was super fun, Bodega Bay was absolutely gorgeous, and I would have enjoyed myself 100x more if my head hadn't been hurting so much. Cures for persistent headaches, anyone?

This weekend has been pretty cold and rainy/ the perfect weekend to cuddle under a warm blanket and watch a couple of good movies, which is why I was really drawn to these well-designed movie posters by Singaporean artist JoE. Love his use of colors and retro graphic elements:

Unfortunately, instead of that lovely image, what I've been doing all day is alternating between reading dense English texts and napping [to stop my head from hurting]; also, answering emails and working on my microecon problem set. College, y u have homework?

September 22, 2011

Patterning excitement

How gorgeous are these prints? Geninne is one of my favourite artists for her impeccable attention to detail and I've been following her blog for a long time, so it's super exciting that she's going to have a new line of fabric out in Spring 2012:

On another note- I think I spend too much time being excited and too little time being happy. Always moving forward, pushing forward; never really quite living in/ for the moment. It's the proper start (TBG's starting up, have papers due next week and midterms the weeks after, tonight is CREATE's first training!) of the new crazy semester and sometimes I just need to remind myself to breathe. Life is such an adventure- I must be brave.

Images from Geninne's Art Blog

September 20, 2011

Chez Panisse turns 40!

There are so many reasons why I love Chez Panisse- the excellent food, for one, that Dan and I celebrated our first year together at dinner there, for another, the Edible Schoolyard (a gardening programme at a middle school in Berkeley that has set new standards for school gardening across the US). Love the photos The Selby took of the extensive 40th anniversary celebrations they held:

Can't believe they fenced goats in front of the Berkeley Art Museum. I pass by that patch of grass every morning on my way to school!

Images from The Selby

I shouldn't feel sad, but I do

Rainer Maria Rilke

The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion
of what becomes a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.

It is a slightly terrible thing when everything that one is reading this semester has to do with the falling apart of things, of exposing the cracks between truth/fiction/speech/voice, of emphatically underscoring the fact that even the novel is no longer sacred, even literature is no longer safe. All these little college disappointments, all these little stress lines and upsetting news and unfortunate midterms to study for- what are they in the larger scheme of things? I should not be sad, but I am. I am much like the Schlegel sisters [from Howards End]- how can I claim to know what others feel when I am standing upon a solid rock of relative success and extracurricular security? Yet at the same time I need always to remember that this alone does not make me impregnable, this does not make me in any way superior. Sometimes it is so easy to forget, and be really mean about people I know nothing about. Sometimes it is so easy to think that this is the end goal- this collegiate significance. But it is not.

On a side note, every time I step into my religious poetry class I think of how Rilke's Book of Hours completely captured me when I first read it. How much I regret not squishing it into my luggage somehow so I can have it here with me. How much I need to find a way to read some Rilke poetry in the context of a class.

September 18, 2011

Fall in line!

Oops- ended up spending the afternoon on the internet writing emails, editing my resume, and generally just poking my nose into digital things that don't concern me. I haven't really been super impressed with editorials lately (especially American editorials; I think the last time I was blown away by an editorial was the Grace Coddington Gaga one in US Vogue sometime last year), but I was really charmed by this one:
The first image on the left- how gorgeous are those drifting translucent skirts?
What made it even more impressive was that it was from my old workplace, ELLE Singapore! It reminds me a lot of the Teen Vogue aesthetic- all lithe jumping girls and crazy patterns.

Images from ELLE Singapore September 2011, via their Facebook page

This is what I will be doing this sunny Sunday

Where did the weekend go? I can't believe half of Sunday's passed already. Some lovely photos of apartments and books that are making me all fuzzy on the inside today:

Floor to ceiling bookshelves? Yes, please!
Although these images aren't too far from what I'll be doing for the rest of the day- trying to frantically catch up on reading from last week and attempting to be semi-prepared for school next week by starting on my micoeconomics homework and starting on some difficult modernist reading. The secret life of a college student- homework. No one really tells you how much actual work college would be! #1 flaw in American teen movies.

September 17, 2011

Go Bears!

To kick off the first game of the season, a collection of cheery blue-and-golds (how freaking adorable are the yellow Sperrys!!!!!):

I was unfortunately not part of the mass of cheering crowds inside AT&T stadium today because of some !@#$%^&* screwup with my student ticket transfer, so I ended up walking up 3rd Street all the way to Madewell in Westfield Mall, where I promptly bought a black silk top to commemorate my mournful disappointment at missing the first game. It is beautiful, and I am going to wear it so much I know that my friends will start wondering if I actually own other clothes, but I'm still a little ticked off that I didn't get to watch the game today (for future reference, all ticket transfers come with a second email confirmation with a .pdf attachment... just because they charged your credit card on the website doesn't *actually* mean you got the ticket transferred successfully). We won though, so clearly my presence wasn't required ;)

Also- I'm probably last on the bandwagon, but I'm obsessed with the Chan Luu wrap bracelets (one featured in collection above), and there's a sweet lady who sells similar-looking bracelets at college-friendly prices. I am her new best friend. She hangs out in front of Bank of America on Telegraph on Wednesdays-Fridays, 12nn-4.30pm for anyone near Berkeley interested.

Later tonight: Dido and Aeneas with the Mark Morris Dance Group. I am so excited!

September 15, 2011

Note to self (one of many)

Today while I was holding interviews at Strada, I spotted a lot of seniors decked out in business formal hurrying across the street to Haas- it was this slightly irksome premonition that one semester from now, I will be like that, scuttling from info session to info session, smiling and twirling my hair, and begging for a job. The thought of this unnerves and stresses me out to no end, and all these resume/ interview prep things have started swirling around in my head and making me sick on the inside. I've always known this was coming, but I didn't actually expect it to be here so- soon. I think the only advice I can give my next-semester self is:
1. Refer to Calvin above
2. If it's not fun, what's the point of doing it?

[I have come to realize in the last few days, how much I truly enjoy the work of a consultant. How much I really want that job. How much I think I'll actually be, dare I say it, half-decent at it. Maybe this will change by next semester.]

Calvin & Hobbes (my absolute favourite) comic strip via Kel

September 14, 2011

Choir geekery

This is how the inside of me feels when I listen to a Morten Lauridsen or Eric Whitacre song. Like I am expanding and expanding past to the point of breaking- it's like a keen edge between pain and beauty when something is just so incredibly breathtaking that you HAVE to do something with that beauty, like cry, or hit a wall, or sing a ridiculously high-pitched note.

Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen are holding a concert together on April 1st 2012 in New York City. I am not even kidding when I say that, even though it's the last day of Spring Break, I'm there. I will buy tickets the day it comes out, no matter how expensive it is, because they are my musical heroes and I think I might actually die with happiness in that theatre.

My favourite Eric Whitacre songs
Nox Aurumque by the VocalEssence Ensemble
When David Heard by BYU Singers

My favourite Morten Lauridsen songs
O Magnum Mysterium by Polyphony
O Nata Lux by Polyphony
Les Chansons des Roses 2- Contre qui rose by the Chamber Choir of Europe

I have a deep and abiding love for these two men.
That is all.

Image source unknown.

September 12, 2011

Du Juan & Edwin Kadarisman for Numero China, Aug 2011

Love these images- they remind me of the best kind of Asian-inspired films,

all tumultuous relationships and broken loves. It's been a lovely day :) I bought a screen for my room, got some yummy apple-smelling candles from Ikea, had dinner with some old friends. These photos just remind me so much of Asia, and that reminds me of the food/ company/ happiness I had tonight.

This week-

Prayer of St. Francis of Asissi

Lord make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.

O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive-
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Image via Cleon Arrey. It reminds me of this prayer, a lot, for some reason. The crazy rolling waves and the big sky- we can't be alone in this world. We can't be all of this world.

September 11, 2011


I don't really remember 9/11, much, but what I do remember is how afraid everyone was after it happened. How suddenly it felt that there were all these viciously violent groups hiding in our midsts like scorpions, ready to attack at will- even safe Singapore was vulnerable, which to me at the time and even now seemed so unreal. I think I am of a generation that has grown up post-9/11- a different kind of people who lived so far away from the locus of the action that the twin towers collapsing (it happened when I was eleven, and the furthest I had been was Australia, it already felt at the edge of my tippy toes, let alone America, which was further than the end of my world), a kind of people so used to taking shoes off/ packing without liquid items/ going through miles of security checks before getting through airport security.

Being in America today on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I stumbled across this site: the 9/11 Tribute Movement. It's still 9/11 on the Singapore side of the world- anyone wants to take that challenge up? I think it's a beautiful idea that reminds us all of the resilience, courage, and love that humans seem to have in no small supply.

September 9, 2011

Caffeine. Is good.

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'll know how much I seriously adore coffee drinks, and these photos from Brian Ferry for a new (?) Starbucks campaign is making me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. They have this warm intimacy about them that really emphasizes the friendly aspect of getting a coffee together (though my usual coffee is brewed in under 10 minutes and hastily made in a tumbler that I consume in class). These pictures are actually making me a little excited for the impending colder weather and snuggling up to some good hot chocolate!

Images from Brian Ferry for Starbucks via Kinfolk Magazine's blog

September 8, 2011

Skirts in the Fall-time

I love these images of sheer skirts under huge fluffy jackets- a possible look for (an extraordinarily stylish) Fall? In the meantime though, I'm enjoying these last few days of sparing sunshine before the fog hits!

Image from Tumblr via heart + bleecker

September 7, 2011

New health kick

I think I am becoming a rabbit.

I feel that this is the only explanation for the kind of food I've been eating lately- baby carrots on roasted garlic hummus, butter lettuce with poppy seed dressing, blueberries, nectarines, last night I had a really delicious dinner with Dan and we baked some salmon with teriyaki sauce and cooked up some long beans with chili. Plus today when I realized that my fridge contained this new kind of hummus (Greek olive, to be more specific)- my heart made this little excited bunny leap. It's becoming slightly ridiculous. But also nice, because I'm saving up (i.e. working more and eating out waaay less) for my trip to Europe this winter, and every time I'm tempted to purchase something I just chant Topshop, Zara, Primark (my English holy trinity) to myself and physically walk away.

One thing I haven't really been on the ball about though is BREAKFAST. It's really great at home because my mum buys all these things for breakfast e.g. donuts, char siew sou, buns everyday, so I just grab and go on my way out. Buying breakfast isn't an option for me anymore (looks somewhat guiltily at the Bear Muffin I had this morning, sigh), so I've been on the lookout for simple breakfast ideas for school days and fancy recipes to make on weekends whenever I have a La Note or Venus craving.

- Fruit: bananas, cut peaches the night before into ziplock bags, berry mix (just bought some super delicious blueberries from Trader Joe's)
- Granola, dried cranberries in a bag
- Instant porridge with egg

- Pancakes! Recipe from Heart of Light
- Maple-Oatmeal scones, from Ina Garten

I'll update accordingly with pictures if I ever attempt any of these recipes, but I think I might stick to my tried and true favorite, scrambled eggs with whatever's in the fridge.

Any other super easy, college student-proof breakfast ideas?

Images from Flickr and Heart of Light

September 4, 2011

LT goal

I'm finding my peace, and forgiving myself for those things I've never done. Willy Tea Taylor, 'Cattleman'
I feel that this is something I need to start doing. These few days have been a little hard, friends. Today I went into San Francisco with Ju Ju to buy her birthday dress for next week, and it just got me remembering about when I went shopping for my birthday dress, and how I felt then, all loved and happy and surrounded by people who love me; how I feel now- slightly alone, slightly lonesome. Some of this is my fault, I think- hiding behind excuses and laziness, not doing things that scare me, being more content to stay at home then to go out and meet new people.

I think I expect much more of myself than I should. I am not being fair to myself.

September 1, 2011

We see the same moon?

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we’ll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I’ll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

e. e. cummings

I'm feeling a little sad and sorry for myself tonight- the only cure I have for this is some hardcore (ha ha) managerial accounting homework, a sushi roll for dinner, and some good poetry. I feel like this summer already seems like a dream, and my brain is trying to play a desperate game of catch-up to the Berkeley academic grind/ the Berkeley social life/ the Berkeley frenetic activity. It's not a bad thing, but after such a restless summer- I am still restless, even back here cradled in the arms of Joseph Conrad and John Maynard Keynes.

There are so many things that I miss about home- the quiet streets at night and the rumbling cars down the expressway, the smell of the Esplanade on an empty weekend, my father and grandfather sprawled on the couch watching Ai when I get home from work at night. I am terrible with change, but I need to be [good at it]. I am too compulsive with my challenges to myself.

Image from the Leonid Tishkov exhibition, Private Moon, exhibited at the Singapore Biennale 2008 (via here). I still remember the exhibits really well- for some reason, I don't know why, they totally caught me and stuck in my mind even though I've seen countless other exhibitions [3] years later. This image reminds me of my apartment building at home, and the family that resides within it. I miss them.