mental indigestion

Angsty Lit January 29, 2010

Filed under: Kay poh recommendations — mel @ 4:48 pm
Tags: ,

Book of the Year 1996

“It’s everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so–I don’t know–not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid, necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless–and sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you’re conforming just as much as everybody else, only in a different way.”- J.D. Salinger

I was this broody 17-year-old. I felt that no one could understand me. However, when my friend A. gave me this book as a birthday present I practically embraced it. Along with 1984 and Brave New World – these novels represented the epitome of all the oppression and phoniness I felt EVERYONE was about.

Ah, youth and its tendencies to melodramatize everything.

But you know what? Thank God for such angsty literature, of which our phantom menace sides can find an outlet in. And they are good reminders to constantly question the status quo and the facades that we get all too familiar with.

J.D. Salinger – RIP. Thank you for your words which provided me so much solace in my adolescence. I hope you left the world feeling less crap about it.

Pop culture/Hollywood trivia: Zooey Deschanel was named after this novel by her parents, even though Zooey was the guy in the story. But no surprises there, Zooey is such a cute name. And what cool parents!


Don’t Rain On My Parade January 21, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration,Whee! — mel @ 4:47 pm
Tags: ,

Most of you should know by now that I am obsessed with Glee – absolutely love their “show music” covers of contemporary music and the respectful, old school style they perform old musical classics. The Season 1 finale tops it off with a rousing Barbara Streisand‘s Funny Girl number – I would really really really love to see Lea Michele perform live on Broadway one of these days.

Don’t Rain on My Parade

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade
I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it
But whether I’m the rose of sheer perfection
A freckle on the nose of life’s complexion
The Cinderella or the shine apple of its eye
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Don’t bring around the cloud to rain on my parade,

I’m gonna live and live NOW!
Get what I want, I know how!
One roll for the whole shebang!
One throw that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham,
One shot, one gun shot and bam!
Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am …

I’ll march my band out, I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir,
I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade!

And of course, one must also give credit to the original version, which is such an inspiration and as  wonderful a performance.


Isn’t It Ironic? January 20, 2010

Filed under: Life in general — mel @ 6:09 pm

I am now meticulously coaching a bunch of graduating students how to sell themselves in the job market. I tell them to “milk out” their experiences, “put on” a persona of passion and in some cases, to “make something out of nothing” e.g. how being on the volleyball team has taught  “valuable” skills such as “being a proactive team player” and “the ability to adapt to stressful, competitive conditions” as opposed to the more likely revelation that tanned legs look really good with shorts.

I also realise I may not be the best example since I have deviated from the whole getting a proper, lucrative job scene, and especially so since sometimes, I come in telling them about the unspoken rules of the working world dressed in the most uncorporate apparel of polka dots and stripes and feather hairbands.  Given how these students seem even more hippie than I am, I am not sure how drumming in the idea that using off-white Conqueror paper to print out their cover letters and resumes will really sit with them. However, I must say, it’s a lot more fun “strategising” how to smoke potential employers rather than doing the actual job application and interview. It’s almost like fiction!


What if Jesus meant all that stuff? January 13, 2010

Filed under: Life in general — mel @ 12:55 pm

The thing is, with exception to the Bible, I can’t quite bring myself to get through most Christian texts these days unless they are study guides that do not ask overly-directive questions and Henri Nouwen. Everything else seems to reek of subtle condescension, self-righteousness and oversimplistic dualities (though definitely well-meaning). It’s lovely to read a piece on Christianity that is a refreshingly frank, open-ended exploration of the faith.

“The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)” – Shane Claiborne

The complete article can be read here.


Serene start January 1, 2010

Filed under: Tea for Thoughts — mel @ 11:20 am
Tea on 010110

New Year Tea

Today’s tea is the Emperor’s White Garden by TWG and according to its product copy it is “fine white tea leaves and highly aromatic flowers…blended to evoke a sense of appeasing serenity after the day’s upheavals”. I woke up today realising that the past decade was one of upheavals – mostly because most of the important stuff seems to happen when you’re in your 20s. But I’m sure there are plenty more things to go through, just not today as there’s laundry to be done.

Can I  just say how much I dig this new teapot I bought at Stephie says – how’s that for some flower-power space saving (see inset)?