Tread light

Tread light on our Earth
Six billion footsteps at once
Make a violent sound


Gazing at the stars
Earthly woes crumble to dust
— a sweet, fearful awe.


In my skull’s bleak depths

Memories cling like leeches

One by one, I peel

The Witching Hour

As the night thickens
My thoughts come heavy as mud
I wade for morning


The shape of my future will be wide and brilliant

I will sail a boat into the blazing sunset

I’ll knock coconuts from the tops of tropical trees

There will be a possibility with my name on it

I’ll find that secret place where trains sleep

and run like a madman along the tracks

follow all the lost balloons into space

I’ll fall in love

and break his heart

There’ll be no redemption for such acts of extravagance

No ponderable punishment for such deeds

I’ll be a connoisseur, a cognizant, a conspirator, conjurer and the closing act

This I’ll do

tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow and tomorrow upon tomorrow upon tomorrow

until my days run together in one blinding streak of light

until I’m top o’ the world

breathing the stratosphere

toes can’t touch the bottom

I’ll reach up and scratch my name on the sky with a piece of chalk

This I’ll make

the vast and splendid shape of my future

I’ll not grow old.

Deep breath.

Hello world!

I know it has been over six months since I’ve updated, and it’s terrible. Every so often I would open up my blog and stare determinedly at the “new post” button, but I never managed to muster up the willpower to write an entry. I think the problem was that there was just so much going on in my life, that the task of condensing it into bite-sized paragraphs seemed insurmountable. For most of the past half-year, I’ve been playing catch-up, week to week, with all the things I’m supposed to be and do. I think now, at least, I’m glad to say I’ve reached a point where I’m able to take a deep breath and refocus.

In February of this grand year, I started my training in psychiatry. Working in an inpatient psychiatric ward at a busy public hospital has been hectic and challenging, at many points. But it has also been immensely eye-opening, memorable and rewarding. But more reflections on psychiatry training to come later.

I also did not finish my book. I hate admitting failure: it gives me a cold shudder in the pit of my gut. But it’s true—sadly, I didn’t achieve what I set out to do in my six months off from work. I wrote up to chapter 23 of a planned 30, and then—bam!—life got in the way. And then I lost faith in the story, and I haven’t yet picked it up again. I haven’t written anything for a few months, struggling to find inspiration amidst the busy-ness of fulltime work and study.

A Time article reminded me recently:

Failing is OK. Not failing is not OK. If you don’t flop every so often, you’re not trying hard enough.

I’ll keep trying.

In the vein of cheesy, motivational quotes, I’ve embarked on a bit of a personal mission to be less cynical and more positive. About two months ago, rather uncharacteristically, I browsed “inspirational quotes” on Pinterest and felt immensely uplifted by the words. I’ve even become one of those people with an inspirational quote on my phone wallpaper. I know, I can’t believe it. But being more positive to people around me on a day to day basis has had such a tangible effect. As soon as I shifted my mindset and behaviour, I noticed changes. My day became less stressful. People responded to me more warmly. I was able to be a soothing presence when others were stressed, and to give more to help out. When a coworker was short to me and others, I understood that she was probably stressed out and used to being spoken to in a grumpy manner. So instead of shutting her out, I decided to do her a favour. I think I’ve just realised the magic of returning coldness with warmth.

Anyway, onto some book recommendations!


Stuff Matters – Mark Miodownik 

stuff matters

This is an informative, interesting and fun read. Miodownik is a materials scientist with a flair for words. There are ten chapters in this book; each chapter discusses a different material in our daily lives—glass, charcoal, steel, concrete, etc—from a historical and scientific perspective. It’s pretty eye-opening and you really learn to marvel at the extra-ordinariness of the ordinary substances around us. Highly recommended.

China in Ten Words – Yu Hua


Ever since reading the graphic novel A Chinese Life and visiting China at the end of 2013 (and oh yeah, maybe because I’m ethnically Chinese too…ha ha), I’ve been somewhat interested in 20th century Chinese history and the shaping of modern Chinese culture. That’s why I was quick to snap up this book by Yu Hua when I found it in Green Apple Books in San Francisco. It’s a collection of ten essays, each one reflecting on an aspect of Chinese culture from a personal and analytical perspective. For someone living outside China, it’s fascinating. Another highly recommended read.


Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise & The Search – Gene Luen Yang


These spin-off comics are set after the events of the original series. The Promise and the Search are each an instalment of three, and there’s a third trilogy, The Rift, as well. I had my doubts, but Gene Luen Yang’s artwork is wonderfully lively and the story stays true to the spirit of the series. These comics are very fun reads, and The Search is especially compelling. Worth reading if you’re a fan of the series!


More next time,


Fury (2014) – Grace.C

Check out my review of Fury on Filming You In :)


fury-slice-five-new-fury-clips-brad-pitt-michael-pena-and-shia-lebouf-look-intense-in-war-flickFury is part action-adventure movie with tanks, and part anti-war movie that depicts the horrors of World War II. The first thing you’ll notice about this movie is that it is very quiet. There is no booming soundtrack to buoy us into an emotional high as we watch bullets flying across the screen. Instead, we hear the heavy clank of artillery being loaded into guns, the tinkle of a soldier pissing into a can with four other guys around him, and the squelch of the tank’s treads grinding a nameless, already pulp-ified corpse into the mud. We see terror twist men’s faces and sweat bead down their brows. It’s not a pretty movie.

It is 1945, and the Allied forces are making a final push into Nazi Germany. We the audience live the story through the dewy eyes of Army typist Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), who is unwillingly assigned to…

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