Yay! Unemployment!

Happy 2017! *dusts away cobwebs from the skeletal body of my dying blog*

I’ve been contemplating really seriously about shutting down this blog and closing this chapter of my life forever. And maybe perhaps starting anew somewhere else. I don’t know yet. I guess suddenly finding yourself jobless really changes you as a person. Goodbye my only source of income, hello waking up at 12 in the afternoon and eating breakfast at 3 while society judges you (don’t tell me what to do, mum!!). While it’s understandable circumstances that’s led me to this very point, it’s sort of lit a fire under my ass and made me want to do better. To own this. 7 years of Mass Comm’s got to count for something right?

And so, I’ve updated my resume, started bookmarking jobs like nobody’s business (I’ll get to them all by this week, I swear), thought up ideas for a creative print portfolio, and hopefully 2017 will be the year the gods finally take pity on me and.. No! You know what, I can’t keep thinking that way. I’ve got skills right? I can write. I’ve got ideas. I’ve got LOTS of potential just waiting to be tapped. Any employer would be so lucky to have me. That’s it, *positive thinking*. Something I have to admit I’m really thankful for though, is the knowledge that my previous contract wasn’t extended, not because of anything I had or hadn’t done. (You hear that, future employers??) It’s something that I could in no way have prevented. So there’s that, at least. It’s also comforting that my direct supervisor fought so hard to keep me, even if his efforts turned out to be all in vain. I mean, if the big boss suddenly changes his mind and decides he wants someone way more experienced, well what can you do right? All I can really do is pick myself back up, go back out on the hunt, and gain that ~~*~experience~*~~ everyone talks so much about.

Unemployment aside, what’s happened in the last couple of days: I turned 24 and I’ve been questioning myself, is this what I want my legacy to be as a blogger (I still feel uncomfortable calling myself a writer, it’s like saying that every person who can string sentences together is a writer, every person who paints is a painter, every person who can play a song on the guitar is a musician, you get the point… Actually does blogging once every 3 or 4 months even make me a blogger..idk)? Point is, I need to find my own voice!! And that’s why I’m considering starting a separate blog (see how we’re coming full circle here), title to-be-confirmed. I just want to start everything afresh and have a blog that I’m proud to show people, a space that I can confidently say, yes this is the Justine I want to put forth, this! is a true reflection of my thoughts! my identity! Not this chaotic mess of ramblings about life, reality TV or whatever cute famous boy I’m currently crushing on. Not that there’s anything wrong with what I’ve been writing about. They’re true to the me that was then, but the me that is now, is at a different place… from then. Yeah, I can be deep.

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All plans and no follow through

I’ve got a ton of posts in my drafts and I make plans to write about so many things, but then I procrastinate, and then time passes, rendering them all irrelevant in my mind. I’ve barely posted about all the places I visited while on exchange in 2014, when I travelled to Jeju, Geoje, Tongyeong and also Japan. So many beautiful places and experiences I never wrote about! Then I swore to myself I’d do better and update when I went to Korea again earlier this year. That so didn’t happen… I even brought my laptop there and everything!!

I think the problem with me is that I don’t know how to edit. When I get all absorbed writing a thing, I get so into it and I end up going on and on until it becomes this monster of a post. It’s too long to finish in one go so I vow to continue it another time, but that usually never happens so I end up with a bunch of 1000-word essays that never see the light of day.

So I realise it’s probably best to do my life updates in point form so here I go:

1) I finally have a full-time job!!! After I was done with FYP, I started freelance writing for Mediacorp whilst also doing part-time work at Jurong Regional Library as an Assistant Library Officer (lol that makes it sound so much cooler than what it actually is. Basically I (wo)man the customer service counter for a measly hourly wage). During this time, I was still looking for a job but I think I was being too picky / not trying hard enough because I wasn’t hearing back from anywhere. Anyway, point is, I heard about this position from a friend, applied, and 3 days later, I started work as a Marketing Executive for this company. I’m currently on a three-month contract so we’ll see how that goes. Fingers crossed, because I really enjoy what I’m doing so far!

2) I went to Korea again in August for like… 4 days. Short because I wasn’t working full-time then and had only about $1000 saved up for this trip. But the main aim was to go for 2 days of Elysium. It was something I’ve been thinking about ever since the concert was announced but when I couldn’t get tickets, I was like aww shucks, I guess it’s not meant to be. But then one week before the concert, Cindy was like Should we go? and I was still a little torn until finally, I was like, you know what, YOLO and so we got our tickets from some Starlights on Twitter, booked our flights and our accommodation and off we went.

Yes, I totally get that it’s kinda crazy to fly all the way to another country just for a concert but at the same time, I felt like I would have regretted it if I didn’t? If you thought the K-pop concert experience in Singapore’s good, wait till you see your faves on their home ground. They’re so relaxed and comfortable on stage, and the banter with the fans comes so naturally since it’s all in Korean. The sets also look so much more grand. It’s just a whole different experience! I really don’t regret it because at this stage in my life where I’m at, I don’t have to worry about bills and mortgage yet, so VIXX is something that I’m willing to indulge in on such a level. They bring me happiness and supporting them makes me feel good so that’s what I’ll do until there comes a time when my priorities shift and I have to reassess the way I spend my money. I’ve seen VIXX so many times this year and I still miss them. LOL *whines sadly about my first world problems*

3) I’ve started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race again since All Stars Season 2 has been airing and honestly, we need to have words, Show. Ru changed it up this season so that instead of the bottom 2 having to lipsync for their lives to stay, the Top 2 would lipsync to win $10,000 each week and then the winner would have the added responsibility of sending someone from the bottom home. I like that the queens (minus Phi Phi) this season are goodhearted people and genuinely nice to each other but come on, this isn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!!! It’s honestly pissing me off how the good ones are being sent home week after week in favour of friendship (R.I.P my queens Tatianna and Alyssa). I swear to god, if Roxxy stays over Katya, I will burn with the rage of a thousand suns. #TeamKatya

Ok, I guess my point form is kind of a cheat since it’s basically 4 full paragraphs that I’ve ordered into a numbered list… Told you I suck at cutting down on words.

To an incredible 2014

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Happy New Year to everyone! Sending a little luck everyone’s way as we usher in the new year (ㅋㅋ geddit)… 2013 has been largely unexceptional, and I won’t lie – getting into VIXX in early March has been a large reason why it sucked way less than it did. I’m also thankful to have the people I love close to me, especially my family, whom I wouldn’t exchange for the world. I know I’m so very blessed to be a part of a close-knit family, and even though having family dinners together almost every night wasn’t something I’d broadcast to the world back when I was in primary or secondary school (and trying to be cool as shit), it’s now something I’ve come to treasure. Even our family holidays (to Perth and Chiang Mai) this year have been such a great bonding experience for us all (even if I have to survive my brother’s apocalyptic snoring each night).

I’m also thankful for the lovely friends I’ve made and kept this year. I don’t always make the effort; I’m not the warmest and most caring person in the world but this is who I am and I won’t apologise for it. I’m still a work-in-progress and that’s okay. I’m hopeful that 2014 will kick 2013’s ass in every way and I’m anticipating the opportunity to have my horizons broadened and to finally gain some much-needed independence. It’s the year where I’ll end up spending half the time in a totally foreign country where I can barely speak the language so it’ll definitely be…interesting. 2013 was boring and I desperately need a change in environment. I’ve been told a couple of times that I live a pretty sheltered life and I definitely won’t disagree so here’s to a more exciting 2014! I’m looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and to make memories that I will never forget.

Time for change

The delightful combination of strawberries and nutella is a recent discovery that kinda makes me feel dumb for missing out on it for the past 20 years of my life. It’s so yummy, and it’s the perfect mix of sinful and sweet. Besides the usual past-midnight snacking, I spent the last hour tweaking my blog just so because I stupidly changed the theme without meaning to. Well, good thing I never really liked my previous one anyway, so hello new theme! I’m not a big fan of it but change is good, right?

I haven’t been blogging or writing or…doing much of anything, really, these days, but I did drag my butt to dance a few days back and it really made me remember how much I actually love dancing (despite, yes, not being very good at it). It was a back-to-back 2-hour class and we danced to Jojo’s self-choreography of BIGSTAR‘s ‘Run & Run’ and wow, how much do I love the song? I’ve had it on repeat since Thursday and also downloaded two other BIGSTAR mini albums promptly after. I don’t know them all that well but they seem like the sort of group I could really end up liking because they remind me of VIXX somehow with the way they’re constantly proclaiming their love for their fans. I mean, they made individual placards to cheer on their fans during Idol Sports Championships. WHO DOES THAT?! I’m a little partial towards Feel Dog and Raehwan (and Sunghak too ehehe) at the moment because /dumb 92-liners/ and their friendship is adorable. Here’s the group’s interview with Pops in Seoul in the infamous yellow post-it box (C’MON, RAEHWAN IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL).

They really are such dorks and they’ve put out some great songs too but I guess in K-pop, looks will always trump talent and sadly, they’re a little um, lacking in the former department (just a little!). I really gotta applaud labels that sub their artistes’ videos like Jellyfish Entertainment and Brave Entertainment do because it really helps make the groups more accessible to international fans like us and after watching a few of the BIGSTAR Show eps, I’m just liking them more and more (they’re all so squishy and small and adorable!!!).

Something else that’s been on repeat for me is The Tragic Thrills’ newly-released self-titled EP. I have so so so much love for this album, I cannot even put into words <3 <3 <3 I pre-ordered the album a year and a half ago when Allstar Weekend started a Kickstarter project to help fund their next album but somewhere in between, they grew up and changed their musical direction completely and The Tragic Thrills were born. I’m a huge ASW fan because they made such great happy music that’s impossible to hate so I was understandably wary about the change but this album surprised me in so many ways. Zach‘s voice suits the new style of music like a glove and the honesty that hangs onto his every word is captivating. I can’t even pick a favourite track because every song on there is incredibly-crafted and perfect with such lovely, poignant lyrics and I won’t hesitate recommending the album to anyone in the hopes that they’ll feel changed in the same way I do after a listen from beginning to end. It’s definitely making it into my list of top few albums well, ever.

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I also belatedly celebrated Amelia’s 21st birthday yesterday and just a few hours before I was supposed to leave the house, I baked a brownie in record time (thank you, Betty Crocker) and smothered it in M&Ms to make it look prettier than it is. We met at Clarke Quay and then headed to Chili’s, where we proceeded to eat our weight in expensive food. I swear to god we didn’t order all that much but how did the total come up to $116???!??!? One of life’s greatest mysteries, indeed. But it was nice catching up with one of my oldest and most refreshingly honest friends. Can you believe we’ve known each other for 15 years – 10 of which were spent in the same class? We’ve changed so much along the way that I think that if we were to meet one another now, we actually probably wouldn’t even be friends. But our childhood connects us so deeply, I can’t imagine otherwise.

Ying Xin, Amelia and I then migrated to the riverside to attempt to digest the massive meal we had and pondered life and shit. At one point, I think I might have posed the question, “When are you at your ultimate happiest?” and it got me thinking a little. Amelia’s idea of happiness involves being far away at some nice holiday resort but to be honest, I’m perfectly happy at home. I don’t need to be surrounded by a ton of people either and in fact, the lesser, the better. I think a happy day for me would be a really rainy one where my whole family’s home and I’m curled under the covers and reading a book or using my computer, and I can hear the strains of the chattering of my family from my room. And then maybe somewhere in between, I’ll crawl out of my cave and join them in the living room for a movie. It honestly doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. Pfft… And people say I’m high-maintenance.

And finally, I’m a little late but congratulations to Team A for becoming WINNER! I’ve long come to terms with the fact that Team B was fighting a losing battle and anyway, I do have a lot of love for all the Team A boys so I can’t complain…much. The only thing that makes me a little sad is the possible disbandment of Team B when they function so well as a group together. They’re so dependent on one another that I’m not sure splitting them up would be such a wise idea but I’m sure YG will come up with the best way to deal with them. He’s said too that he’ll be keeping the fans’ opinions in mind when he makes his decision so I’m a little hopeful even, that we’ll be seeing the guys again pretty soon. (And here, have some gifs of WINNER’s Mino because he’s painfully good-looking and him + glasses + smiling = my panties on the floor tbh)

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(GIF credits: taehyunsong)

Love is all you need

EXAMS ARE OVER!!!!!! Which means I can finally get back to what I’ve been doing before studying and all-nighters at Starbucks took over my life — nothing. Or rather, catch up on TV shows and dramas, K-pop, spend time on Tumblr, as well as get back into the writing groove for Dinoseoul.

Today not only marked the day of my last paper but also the day B.A.P took LA by storm during their Live on Earth concert. My Twitter feed was filled with live updates and stream after stream of fancams and I think I must have downloaded at least 50 fancams, some of which are really decent. Of course, I wasn’t there since I’m stuck all the way on the wrong side of the world (please will someone release the ticketing details for LOE SG already T_T)… I haven’t watched most of the fancams yet, except for a really good ‘One Shot’ one that I swear to god almost made me tear up in public because ~first ever~ live OT6 performance. I’ve also watched the special stages and I’ll admit I have BangHim’s ‘Sexy Clap’ performance on repeat because… well look.

Yongguk‘s got mooooves and Himchan… I don’t know what he was doing patting his crotch and wiggling his butt in the middle of the song but, I’ll take it. DaeJae’s ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ was sadly boring and was totally the wrong choice for Daehyun‘s voice and suited Youngjae‘s so so much better. And then you have maknae line doing the dougie (which wasn’t terribly exciting since they did it in Seoul too) but then the music cuts off and Jongup falls dramatically to the floor AND THEN the school bell from ‘Never Give Up’ plays and everyone’s screaming because holy crap are we getting Moon & Zelo for this??????? Jongup’s totally working the red hair. Come to think of it, red seems to be a k-pop hair trend that can’t really go wrong. Hmm.

Wasn’t it the cutest?! They have so much chemistry onstage and they’re pretty much BFFs in real life and I love the dance break and their high five exchange during the ‘clap your hands’ part towards the end. I-just ugh Moon & Zelo sub-unit please, TS.

I have to say that US-BABYs are totally awesome and quick with their fancams though. With LOE Seoul, it took a few days before fancams started being released properly and even so, they were all at most 1-minute cuts but here, so many of them are in full and 1080p. So, so thankful. I’ll definitely try and return the favour, that is, if LOE SG goes according to plan (FML). Sometimes I want to cry because I love B.A.P so much… and then I think to myself, “Justine, just what are you doing with your life?”

And then I feel thankful that at least I have people who will always love me unconditionally – no matter what happens. It’s a little late since Parent’s Day in Korea literally just passed (it’s on 8 May) but sometimes it’ll strike me randomly, just how grateful I am to have my mum and dad in my life so I just wanted to write a little something to express that.

Since young, family has always been the most important thing in my life and growing up, what with peer pressure and puberty, I’m really glad that I never grew apart from them and that we still manage daily homecooked meals as best as we can as well as frequent family holidays/gatherings. And my mum made kimchi friend rice for the first time (in honour of me, she says lol) for dinner today to celebrate the end of my exams and it was so good!

Perhaps its the hellish exam period that’s made me realise this more than ever, but my parents really are so supportive. Like my mum forwent going to the gym this morning just so she could come home on time and make sure I woke up and wouldn’t miss my paper (since I was late the week before when she did go). Or how my dad would ask every single time whether my paper went okay and I’d snap back that it was terrible ~as usual~ and he’d be all understanding. It’s the little things like these that make me look back and feel so loved. And they deal with my shit every single day and so, I’m just really glad for them. I love you both so much!!!