What Gives Life

With the advent of the holiday season, someone on Facebook suggesting listing down 10 things that we most enjoy, things that make us who we are, that make us feel alive. Those, I guess, are the things we need to hold on to and if there were ever something to get ourselves lost in, these would be it. Here’s my list.

  1. Being among children
  2. Watching movies (Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, The Hunger Games: MockingJay Part 1, The Hobbit … the holiday repertoire of movies is mindblowing!)
  3. Music (k-boxing, Michael Buble, One Republic, The Corrs)
  4. Writing (anything from blogging to typing emails to actual writing)
  5. “Me” time and wide, open spaces
  6. Honest conversations with good friends
  7. Making artsy stuff for friends (putting that Paper Market collection to good use!)
  8. Thrilling experiences (roller coasters and things like that)
  9. Being with my kids at school (surprisingly.)
  10. Poetry (<3)

I wonder how this would change say, in the next five, ten, fifteen years. :)


Top Ten: Movies Version

1. The Perfect Storm (2000), Wolfgang Petersen
The film blew me away. I felt for the first time being held in awe and in fear at something so grand and powerful.

2. Shop Around the Corner (1940), Ernst Lubitsch
This has got to be a classic. It has the most humorous and wittiest lines ever! Plus the chemistry between the leads are just hilarious.

3. Cloud Atlas (2013), Twyner and the Wachowskis
Casting and makeup was superb. At some points I hated and groaned inwardly in discomfort, but the script had the most powerfully gripping and mindblowing lines that defied all forms of normalcy.

4. Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Norman Jewison
A really long musical-comedy film, but a powerful and honest one too. The soundtrack and lyrics are amazing, and the portrayal of culture and tradition in the face of a changing reality is simply alluring.

5. American Beauty (1999), Sam Mendes
I watched this only once, but some scenes still haunt me after so many years. Again, disturbing in nature, but there was so much beauty in the dysfunctional and disturbing.

6. Life is Beautiful (1997), Roberto Benigni
I found strength from this humble representation of the human spirit in the holocaust.

7. Invictus (1999), Clint Eastwood
My Secondary School teacher introduced the poem to us and I have been passing it on to others. This narrative about football and the coming together of South Africa never fails to warm my heart.

8. Armageddon (1998), Michael Bay
Aerosmith’s hit did this for me. And I am not even a fan. I loved that it championed a father-daughter’s love above the blossoming romance between Tyler and Affleck.

9. Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Peter Jackson
God worked through JRR Tolkien to write such a powerful trilogy series. The epic fantasy novel with lessons that are not even fantastical but terribly terribly real. And I love Sam.

I know that there should be ten on this list but I could not bring myself to seal the list with any other particular film. The Pianist (2002), Roman Polanski, This is Spinal Tap (1984), Rob Reiner, and The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Frank Darabont.


Planning for the Holidays

There are a number of non-work things I want to complete during this school holiday period.

  1. Finish my art painting class!
  2. Learn the ukelele!
  3. Make healthy, homemade meals more frequently 
    Breakfasts would be a friendly, less intimidating start. I already have a few recipes in my head to experiment with!
  4. Read. 
    Some colleagues have insisted to put “Sense and Sensibility”, “Pride and Prejudice” and “Persuasion” on my reading list for an upcoming book club. My current read is “The Great Gatsby” and I would like to complete “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by the end of the year.
  5. Gym more often.
    My present schedule involves hitting the gym once a week. I would like to do so more often – at least twice a week.

The Burning House

Okay, so I came across this one particular update on my Facebook news feed and decided to see if I could even “make a list”, given my abhorrently indecisive nature. This little project is based on The Burning House (which explains the title of the post).

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.


Here’s my list of ten things:

  • Samsung Van Gogh – Samsung SII mobile.
  • SSOE laptop and charger
  • Hard drive
  • Good Heart, the ugly-on-the-outside-hippo-plushie
  • My students’ worksheets – one thing more impossible than remarking the work I may lose in a fire, is getting students to redo the piece of work!
  • Passport
  • Wallet
  • Bag of craft materials
  • Bible
  • Cloud Atlas novel

Well the website doesn’t seem to limit the number of things you can grab on your way out of a burning house, although D did say “ten things”. I suppose when your house is burning you don’t really think of packing the nicest of stuff in a bag and throwing them over your shoulder before running out. I will just make sure my family and I get out and stay safe and away, for all those things are really secondary in defining who you are.

A rather interesting list though… coming from my tired brain at 12:13 AM on a Sunday morning from a little cubby corner. My eye and memory fails me, when conjuring up what I could grab to form a most attractive (but honest) list. Oh well.