Poems/lyrics that I have written.

Stuck inside my imagination, Busy making something from nothing. Pictures of hope and depression, Anything is better than nothing

It’s been a mind-and-history-delving, poetic-reading and inspired-writing couple of days. The highs and lows are hitting me in waves, waves and waves like nothing before, but it’s been interesting to see how I’ve grown up and changed in the way that I’ve been dealing with everything. Asides from an intense hockey training tonight that kicked up with a huge run around the block (man, that block seems so much smaller when driving!), everything I’ve done for the past few days hasn’t really taken much physical effort. Oh yeah, I forgot that two days ago I trekked my way into uni in the stormy weather to have a kind-of rehearsal – but because of yesterday’s events, the day before feels like a month ago by now.

Three albums that have been on repeat for the day:

New Moon – Elliott Smith

A posthumous release, I had never really paid much attention to it until recently. But tonight,  the songs between “High Times” and “Going Nowhere” are really striking a chord with me. Pun unintended. For me, Elliott Smith’s music is largely about the mood and lyrics, since majority of songs aren’t instrumentally or musically complex at all. I mean, sonically, only “Everything Means Nothing To Me” (one of my favourites, ever – definitely worth a listen) from his Figure 8 album really really stands out, because it’s in an epic key on the piano, full of black notes.

Raven In The Grave – The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes is one of my favourite bands, and this is their latest album. My favourite is Lust Lust Lust, but that has its time and place, and is a whole other bittersweet story altogether. Point is, I don’t care what Pitchfork or whoever else says, this is a great album. Not a life-changing release that’s about to influence me and leave the same imprint as Lust Lust Lust did, for sure, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. They just do concepts, atmosphere and nostalgia so fucking well. And I’m all about atmosphere and nostalgia. Oh nostalgia! Take me back, when…

23 – Blonde Redhead

Even though they’ve been around for years and years and years (in other words, they first released something when I was aged 2), I’ve only started listening to them recently. So it’s a huge testament to say that now they’re my 6th top band on lastfm, which I’ve been scrobbling on since late 2006 albeit with a couple of years off in the middle. They’re just amazing and so far I’ve haven’t ceased discovering something new in the many layers of their music, every time I listen. In a way, I think that I look up to the Italian Pace – brothers who make up 2/3 of the band – because of their “backgrounds in jazz”. According to various interviews and web-sources, they seem to have Bachelor degrees in jazz, so it’s refreshing to see jazz graduates moving on and making such beautiful yet relatable music that isn’t jazz. They would be around the same age as my tutors at jazz school, and I can’t help but hope that their paths is the one I take. I mean, jazz is wonderful, but I just don’t have the same passion for it next to some of my fellow students. I’m kind of in the middle-ground actually. There are those that are wholeheartedly intent on making jazz waves and they live, eat and breathe jazz; then there are others who are purely doing it for a music performance degree, and don’t even enjoy jazz. And really, I’m in the middle of the two. I enjoy it, but it’s not my #1-always-all-the-time thing. Music in general is. Anyway, wild tangent aside, I love this album.

Something I wrote two nights ago in a frenzy. Always in a frenzy:

Lines­ on my face
this clear trail you can claim to
Scars in my chest
these years you’ve been through.
So much easier now that she speaks
and you’re not listening
So much harder now that you talk
and she’s not hearing.
Uneasy questions on my face
you can’t respond to
Wounds in in the harshest place
those nights you’ve lived through.
Haunted by the spark I blew
The one true part I claim of you
Realisation in your eyes –
to truth.
I weep.
If I walked once so easily
What makes you trust and stick with me?
If I walked once so easily
What makes you trust and stick with me?

My copy of John Green’s Looking for Alaska just arrived today so I think I might tuck into bed with it now. Although I’m partway through The Great Gatsby, I think Fitzgerald can wait. Just a little while. And for now, some relevant, such relevant… food for thought (it makes more sense and is even more relevant in private, but I can’t go scrawling such internal ancient matters on the internet):

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ros

By that definition, who are the beautiful people you know?

So much for make believe, I’m not sold. So much for dreams we see, I’m not prepared to know

I just got home from CJC featuring James Ryan (Aus) down at 1885 in Britomart. It was a nice evening of jazz featuring Ron on drums, which always reminds me to appreciate what amazing musicians we’re being taught by at jazz school. I didn’t take many photos as I was mostly preoccupied with listening, and I also had a very corner seat which meant the angle wasn’t great either. Asides from James Ryan’s amazing tone and just lines, lines and more lines, I mostly couldn’t get over the facial expressions that Tom made whilst playing bass. We all know that drummers pull some pretty interesting faces, but woah, Tom’s taken the cake of anything I’d ever seen. That, and the fact that he is the only bass player I know (other than a shorter female) who has their spike lower than me. Although he’s only around my height anyway, the (lack of) height of his bass in relation to him really puzzled me. Perhaps it’s because he mostly plays bent right over…

Usually I really hate having incohesive blog entries that just fly left right and centre, but the following cannot wait for the next post! Yesterday I drove out to the Just Hockey store and  bought all the gear I’ve been needing to replace for a while. It completely emptied out my bank account, but my had kindly offered some support, plus seeing as it’s my birthday soon, we can bank it on that.

I am so in love with my hockey stick. For once I am really really really excited about going to training tomorrow just so I can try it out. I’ve been having forehand hitting problems with my previous stick for as long as I have had it (since 2008!), so it’s been such a relief to get a stick that has a decently balanced weight that will put a lot more power and accuracy on my forehand hit. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my old stick at the time of purchase, but I’ve really grown out of the feel of it – its good feel for reverse hitting just wasn’t making up for the lack of power that I need on my forehand. So here we have its successor, a Malik Gaucho. I’ve been wanting a Malik stick ever since I started playing hockey, because I had tried an international student’s Malik stick and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, New Zealand didn’t stock them for ages so I’ve only managed to buy one now. It was a close call between this, and the 2010 Gryphy Taboo Magnum. Which to some people may appear to be a better stick on paper, cos its original price was a hundred dollars more, but they really felt pretty similar in my hands. Now I just need to name this Malik stick…

I also had to get new turf shoes because my old ones have a large gaping hole in each foot, and always left my feet wet. I reasoned out having bought all this at once because the petrol and effort involved with getting out to the Just Hockey store again simply for shoes was out of the question. On top of that, I spent two hours ripping off my old shinguard lining so I could now use new ones. Phwroar.

Here’s something I wrote the other night:

Chances are found
In the alleyways of life
A little dark
A little scary
and you caught me,

Romances are lost
In the altered scales of life
A distant remark
A false guarantee
and you caught me,

/// /// /// // // /// ///////

Your hand in a tired curl
I hate when it loosens
As you disappear
As I stare
And I stare

(While you disappear)


The dashboard melted but we still have the radio. Oh, we talked about nothing which was more than I wanted you to know

I’m not sure what exactly inspired me to do this, but here is the –

M for March Playlist:

1. Wasted Time – The Morning Benders
This is a link to a live show, I couldn’t find an album version streaming online, so the quality is off but do get their album to hear it.
I don’t know why, but I wanted to open and end this playlist with this band these two songs seem to reflect a nice change of heart.

2. Shadows – Midnight Juggernauts
An Aussie band, nice bass hooks, the sort of thing I can imagine dancing to at a bar.

3. Asleep at a Party – Memory Cassette
The sort of song that evokes a lot more thought than you’d expect it to…

4. On Dancefloors – Metronomy
My favourite Metronomy song. I love how the song sounds like it’s swirling in circles, and the line “all those evenings, spent disappointed on dancefloors” makes me almost want to cry. But I feel like Metronomy does those lyrics justice by evoking such a sad, bittersweet sound and that’s why it’s my favourite track by them.

5. No One Will Ever Love You – The Magnetic Fields
Oldie, but a goodie.

6. When You Sleep – My Bloody Valentine
From one of my favourite albums ever.

7. Tourniquet – Marilyn Manson
I’m a sucker for guitar bends when done correctly…

8. Opium of the People – The Mint Chicks
Not a Youtube link, but nonetheless takes you to their video.
Probably a largely forgotten Mint Chicks song (by now), that I still love love love.

9. Dashboard – Modest Mouse
I know this is one of their biggest songs, but that’s because it’s so damn good. The title of this post is from this track, and so is my friend’s tumblr title, haha. I just love the clean guitar chkchkchk sound over the bass line. Oh oh oh.

10. The Youth – MGMT
After seeing MGMT live, this song has been further cemented as one of my favourite MGMT songs. The haunting whisper-like quality of this song with the typical MGMT-fantasy-sounding effects over the top, ahh.

11. Always Mine – The Morning After Girls
When I was about 13 or 14 I had a huge obsession with this band, their psychedelic-ish guitar twangs and raspy vocals, with the odd song that had some good ol’ rock n roll screaming in it. This is one of those songs from the middle of the album that often gets neglected, but now I remember how much I enjoyed this as the one of the little peaks in the album, in between all the lulls.

12. Tape Loop – Morcheeba
Why couldn’t music on MTV these days (what music?! I know…) be this good again? I love guitar with a bit of good ol’ wah-wah. And even though the bass and drums are playing really simple things, the whole thing is just really nice and tight, and grooves. Damn it’s hard to groove with some drummers, even if you’re perfectly in time. It often just doesn’t fucking groove.

13. Angel – Massive Attack
This is probably really biased as usual, but I really enjoy when bands use the bass as a means of achieving a brooding buildup, and this is precisely what this song has.

14. Porcelain – Moby
I don’t know why but for years I have been under the false impression that Moby was British, not American. Oops. But anyway, I’m sure that for many people besides myself, Moby’s “Play” album reminds them of 1999 going into 2000.

15. Cheated Hearts Could Be Beautiful – Metronomy Remix (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
In its original state, “Cheated Hearts ” is one of my favourite Yeah Yeah Yeahs songs, but obviously this is an M-playlist so here I’ve got the Metronomy remix. It took me longer than I thought to really enjoy this track, but I guess that’s what happens when a band you like goes and fucks with the songs by one of your all time favourite bands and you go, ooh errr ummm for a bit there. In the end though, just like how I really like “On Dancefloors” (as above), I love the sad sound of this mix, which almost has a sweet tinge to the edge of it – like the inverse of a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

16. When We’re Apart – The Morning Benders
Just another sweet-nothings sort of song…

…which is the perfect segue into photos from a sweet-nothings sort of evening. Le petit ami et moi didn’t manage to find any suitable mens boots for him, so instead we indulged in “Fruit Flo”s and purchased a book each for our brains to gorge on.  We also spent far too long trying on Ray Bans and now my years of suppressed desire for either a pair of Wayfarers or Aviators has been reignited. Uh oh.

Butter chicken and beer.

Usage & Abusage. See, he was going to buy my book and then I was interested in buying his. We ended up buying a different one each, but damn I want “Usage & Abusage” because we’d been using it all last night, looking up the “correct” way to use the words and phrases that are often misused.

An expedition to the kitchen for beer resulted in me taking photos of what his phone’s light looks like through ale in my pitch-black kitchen.

Which kind of just looks like light coke or something, especially because we were using coke glasses.

Just the pale ale
of experience
Takes away the crooked edge.
But only when empty.
Like a sharp migraine,
you get to me.

In the secrecy of your room
Words untold and
Theories unrepeated.
Weave me
through your
shirt again.

And if, scold is the new chide
Then happily behind
those shades we hide.
For even when shuttered twice,
I fear it’s too dark,
The film of our love is
still underexposed.

(Written in the most rapid-fire fashion ever, I spastically scribbled, crossed out and scribbled as the boy looked on in confusion before finally relaxing into the song he’d put on which set off this… spark.)

Comfort zones & mislaid harmonies.


I need a quick decision and a cheap reward

As some people may have gathered from my OCD post, I’m a creature of very particular and peculiar habit. Ever since 2007, I’ve been writing my pseudo diary/lyrics/poetry/angsty rants/declaration of love and loss in Spirax notebooks. From ages 16-17 I used a hardcover black one, then from ages 18-19 I’ve been using a hardcover red one. There’s nothing to not love about these notebooks: the hardcover meant that I never needed anything to lean on, and thus it served its purpose perfectly, as I did most of my writing in bed; the spiral binding was perfect for clipping my favourite pens to; and the plain design meant that it didn’t draw any attention to itself as a notebook worthy of trying to read behind my back. Everything so far was the perfect tradition for me to continue in my bloody specific ways, but one day a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I should head down to Paper Plus to replace my notebook, as there were hardly any pages left, and the 2-year bracket was about to close. The problem was – they didn’t stock them anymore! I had tried the two chain stores within reasonable distance, and almost wanted to cry. A bit melodramatic, I know.

After a bit of further scouting around, and some comforting (but unfortunately not really helpful because discontinuing those notebooks felt as bad as when one of my OCD countings are interrupted, or “rules to adhered to” not followed) words from the boy, I decided that I was going to go home and purchase a Moleskine Large Ruled Notebook in Red off the internet. Once again, onto the BookDepository website I went and as of yesterday, I’ve become rather well-acquainted with my new notebook, and even personalised it with my wax seal in the corner (as pictured below). The only oh bugger moment was when I did a quick google search and discovered that the Warehouse Stationery stocks Spirax… I almost had a relapse but juuuust managed to resist buying another Spirax before my Moleskine arrived. So I guess now I’m going to be collecting Moleskines instead of Spirax notebooks on my shelf…

Left: My new Moleskine with my wax seal in the corner. On top of it is my favourite pen to use – I own a bunch of these Uni Pin fine line pens, ranging from 0.1-0.8, but I most commonly use the 0.5s. I pretty much write in all my notebooks with these pens (in black) exclusively, they just feel and look so darn good. The jet blackness and stroke of ink is perfect for the very particular person that I am, and can’t help being.
Right: My bedside table that I reclaimed from my mum last Friday night. I was using the camera storage box as a bedside table previously, and it just wasn’t working out – but the bedside table has been the perfect solution for all my uni folders and books.

Shadowy business.

Some Funktional goodness from Shopbop.com. Yay for free shipping and convertible dress/skirt design!

Pieces of what… doesn’t matter anymore

Yesterday I got home after a treacherous commute from uni – slip-jogging downhill in the city in rain, with a heavy bag, heavy bass, semi exposed music folders, very full ferry, awkward seating – to the glorious sight of some parcels. My Asos package and some items from the BookDepository. I’m still waiting on 4(?) more books and a dress/convertible skirt thing to arrive:

OCD, Definition 1:

What I really want to write about is “obsessive compulsive documentation”, as per inspired by Marta’s blog. But first I have to get something off my chest: I used to be quite OCD as a child. I still am a little bit now, but it’s nothing compared to what I used to be. I’m sure lots of people out there will have done some of the things I used to do, but can you tell me – how bad did it feel when you didn’t stick to those “rules” which your brain somehow constructed and told you to adhere to?

I used to, and often still do now, but in a more oppressed manner:

– have to take three steps per slab of concrete
– count everything obsessively, out loud, in my head, all the time – especially when running and swimming (which is why I gave up the latter, counting up to the 5000 region is painful whilst swimming km after km in a lap pool)
– have to touch something a certain amount of times
– have to experience the same thing on both sides of my body (I still do this, my friends find it funny, but I really don’t – especially when they trigger it intentionally, it sets me off like a house on fire. e.g., if someone slaps one arm, I will have to ask them to slap me on the other arm, at the same angle, with the same strength; or if someone steps on my foot or something stupid like that.  Actually, I’d appreciate if everyone who reads this blog that knows me in real life would please fucking stop laughing about it and triggering it, it’s anguish in my head to try and fight the urge to punch my own arm, for example.
– in addition to the above, I like to touch things with both hands. I line people’s phones up when it’s on a table. I like to stack my ipod and phone together because they’re about the same size, and I hate feeling a phone vibrate in one hand but not the other.
– most especially in homeware-type stores, I have have have to backtrack my way out of a store, as if I had a spider web-like things trailing me and I have to “untangle” my way out, so that this “thread” doesn’t loop around a shelf or rack in a store. It used to make my mum wonder why I kept walking in circles back and back around aisles.
worst of all, I have a counting system and this is the most frustrating and made-fun-of thing ever. As mentioned above, I count. A lot. Moreover, I do this weird thing where I count three to 3, then three more to 6, then three more to 9, then two to 11, two more to 13, then three to 16 and then seven to 23. When I was younger, this systematic pattern only existed up to the number 9, but then at some point it grew to 11, 13, 16… and it did stop at 21 for a while, but somehow ended up at 23 instead. Weird, I know. And that probably made no sense to anyone else but me anyway. But the worst thing is, people make a joke out of it and I just can’t stand it! At its worst, you can tell my mind’s distracted from say, if I’m reading a book, I’ll end up reading really fucking slowly (I’m generally a fast reader otherwise) because I’ll have to look at all the punctuation on the page a certain amount of times… the page number a certain amount of times. And if it’s a number than I deem as “not good” or that I don’t like (such as 2, 4, 8), my mind psyches itself out and I have to “fix” it by looking at “good” numbers certain amount of times.

Not to mention, these are just my main things that I “have to” comply/count to. There are all sorts of random things that I obsess over as well, but don’t kick in that often, or are more easily overridden by my logic and common sense. For example, I have really, really messy (what people like to call “artsy”) handwriting – it’s mostly because I write really fast and big, and that’s just how it ends up. But those silly people that have attempted to copy my handwriting (fuck knows why), or, those even worse ones that try to criticise my handwriting beyond a necessary point, don’t realise that there’s a whole other reason which I let it become and stay so messy. To put it simply, once I make a conscious effort to make my writing neat, I end up obsessing over making it perfect. If I’m writing down music and my “neat writing” thing kicks in, then every little thing that pours over one line must immediately be erased. Or if my clefs don’t fit in the lines perfectly. Or if I haven’t divided each bar to roughly the same size.

It’s the most unbearable thing ever. Just now, I’ve scratched the back of my neck twice, on both sides, with both hands, because I can’t talk about this without succumbing to the “NEED”. I haven’t told my therapist any of this yet, though. Simply because we’re always dealing with something else and I forget about this until I get back into my car and something sets it off.

OCD, Definition 2:

Now, the other, less annoying type of “OCD” is “obsessive compulsive documentation”. To be honest, this goes beyond the desire to blog or to write in my notebook. For me, I like to keep a documentation of my mere existence and how I think/feel about things. I’ve learned so much simply by reading back in old poetry/lyric notebooks, old diaries, old blog posts, and looking through either digital photos or physical photo albums. I can’t remember how that quote goes, but I truly do believe that everything we’ve ever seen, everyone we’ve ever met and everything we’ve ever done has had its part in creating who we are today. I guess the whole “documentation” thing began the minute I was born, because my mum is a professional photographer. She’d done the big studio thing in Tokyo, did reporting for major newspapers and magazines in Taipei, and later opened up her own studio specialising in children’s photography – so my sister and I were constantly her subject of her films. She also used to do work for a parenting magazine, so whenever we so much as cried, out came the camera, snap snap, the dough rolled in. Obviously, being photographed whilst being told off or upset in general was really quite traumatising, and caused us to cry even more – but as I’ve grown up, I kind of appreciate having these things to look back on. When I was six, I asked my mum to buy me a navy and white checkered hardback diary. It came in a matching box with a lock on it, and it was to be my best friend during our immigration to New Zealand. The last time I read back through it, it occurred to me how I had started writing all in Chinese, and then in the middle was a bit of Chinglish, and eventually the Chinese got filtered out to remain only in the phrases where there’s a lexicon gap.

Then, at age 12 I discovered blogging and it changed my life. As you can see, I’ve been doing it ever since.

What I enjoy about documentation is that there’s evidence outside of myself that an experience or thought had occurred. Our memories aren’t reliable, and more often than not gets gray and blurry around the edges. Sometimes you see a view so amazing or had such a good time that you think “I’m going to remember this forever” – but really, you don’t. Some people enjoy just keeping such memories within, to themselves, but I just can’t. On top of this, such documentation often becomes a source of inspiration for me later on, when I am feeling more creative. Reading old poetry/blog/diary entries of my own have often resulted in extended verses, a new reflective blog post, and once even a painting – so see, for me it’s not just about “did that, *photograph it*, file it”, even if it appears to be to onlookers.

As for less meaning for documentation like taking crappy party photos versus taking decent film ones with a bit more effort, both are important to me. Whilst I may not (unlike most people my age) splash all my party/drunk/whatever photos all over facebook, it’s still nice for me to know that someday when I’m older and these days are over, I will have something left of it to look back on. Heck, I don’t even party that much or often anymore, so even looking back on photos from a year ago evokes nostalgia and makes me feel old already!

Point is, I like documenting. And even though I believe that, at the core we never change that much and essentially remain the same at heart, I still like to be reminded of who I used to be at any particular given point. It’s like those amazing lyrics or songs that I write in the shower, that I feel are so worthy of being worked on and properly written out, which I then forget the minute the water goes off – so too do the amazing memories and experiences that we have, if we don’t record them in some way. Plus, it’s always fun to see things from a new perspective, or think my god, I was that retarded at that age?! and then feel like a better person a few years on, isn’t it?


Left: welcome to the neglected corner of my room, where I tend to stash the biggest, heftiest items (refer to multiple basses and hockey gear), which then gets in the way of me trying to reach my wardrobe.
Right: my wardrobe door, on which I stuck a pile of those whacky film photos taken in Japan (my heart melts!) and Taiwan.

Traces of last night.
Left: Chocolaaate + acrylics I used to paint my bedside table last night.
Right: The remains of the beer and cupcakes which the boy and I indulged in along with Boston Legal last night.

I’ve been meaning to post this ever since Christmas. She may not enjoy my documenting ways which entails (undisclosed) unflattering photos of us, but my special lady friend sure gave me an adorabubble Christmas present which she made herself! It graces a prime spot on my wall, of course.