Life, Uncategorized

Why fifth-wheeling might just be better than third-wheeling

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Picture from Smosh (2014)

Yep. We’ve all been there, done that.

We’re the girl in the black sweater who awkwardly sits by the side, trying to look away whilst our bestie makes out with her significant other. We plaster on a smile and try to be happy for our friend… but sometimes we just can’t help it. We feel a bit lonely, a bit left out. We wish that we were the one in the relationship.

It isn’t just envy or jealousy, which are often negative emotions in a relationship. It’s not just the feeling of being left out, but also, the fact that we can’t just walk away and avoid the massive PDA in action, because it’s just right there in front of you. And you can’t just bail on two of your friends, right?

So you just sit back, and relax, while your friends suck each other on their lips until one of them passes out, or you pass out from grossness.

My point is, no one likes being the third wheel – the “awkward one”, the “lonely one”, the “single pringle”.

This may be counter-intuitive, but over the years, as more and more of my friends get together, I’ve started to realise something: although I may still be the only single one within my social circle, it’s more comfortable to hang out in larger groups, even if it means fifth- or seventh-wheeling.

Let me explain myself.

1. 3 couples (+ me) is more rowdy than a couple (+ me). With more friends in the same setting, it feels more crowded, and thus, less romantic. There are less chances of PDA happening, and if any of that does happen… well, run away to another couple! Chat them up!

2. You won’t feel as left out or lonely or awkward. I think this one’s pretty obvious. There are probably about 4 other people you could talk to when you hang out with 4 couples, and a pair of them are in some sort of deep conversation.

3. Conversation topics tend to be more inclusive. Rather than hearing your friends date-talk, and you just sitting opposite them and pretending to be interested in the scene unfolding in front of you, the conversation tends to be more inclusive when it comes to group hang-outs. Think of it this way: the more people there are, the more topics we’ll come across. Since it’s not just one couple, the talk won’t revolve around inside jokes that we, third-wheelers, don’t know about.

As the only single lady, I’m stuck with third-wheeling my friends all the time, but I’ve now learnt to get the couples altogether so I can fifth or seventh wheel instead. Trust me, it’s a worth a try if you’re an awkward human being just like I am!

Feel free to drop a comment about your experiences as a third wheel! 🙂

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When The Greatest Showman produces the greatest show

 **************** SPOILER ALERT********************

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Image from Google

After sitting in the cinema for the first 5 minutes while Hugh Jackman sang “The Greatest Showman” (which, by the way, sounded strangely familiar to “Despacito” or some pop song), I didn’t know what to expect next. Sure, I got that this is a film about a great showman, but what could the 2-hour movie possibly be about? Was it just going to be entirely songs and choreographies? Was it just a full-on musical on film, or was there an actual plot to it?

To be honest, the plot is actually very simple: there’s no other way to describe it, except that it tells the story of a poor tailor’s boy and his journey to fame. And apparently, it’s based a true story (search up P.T. Barnum on Google if you’re interested!). Simply put, there’s actually nothing spectacular about the plot; however, the storytelling techniques more than compensated for this. The sonorous music, amazing choreographies, as well as stunning special effects add drastically to the film’s allure… enticing even my friends who have a strong distaste for musicals. Even they left the cinema claiming that it “was a good movie”.

Regardless, it wasn’t entirely the visuals and audios that made this movie so spectacular. That alone wouldn’t have been enough for this musical-film to overtake the comedic, internationally well-received 3 Idiots, in claiming the first play in my list of favourite movies.

Yet it did. Why?

Well, let’s begin by looking at something Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) said.

“A MAN’S STATION IS ONLY LIMITED BY HIS IMAGINATION.” – JENNY LIND

There is inspiration to be found in every aspect of the movie – in the characters’ dialogues, in the songs, in the plot itself. It’s a very motivational film, based on P. T. Barnum, who, by the way, was a real showman in the past. It is a very meaningful film, and it shows people how nothing’s really impossible if you believe in it, and work hard enough.

Regardless, there are always costs to success. With Barnum’s increasing fame, he starts to abandon his family, the ones who were there constantly supporting him, through thick and thin.

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Image from Google

The Greatest Showman is an extremely well thought-out and well-choreographed film. It is undoubtedly one that should be watched and appreciated globally, not just for its musical numbers, but also the amazing acting. The multi-talented actors and actresses should be celebrated, along with Michael Gracey’s successful movie. I have never been more impressed by a movie than this. A truly great movie.

 

OST:

 

Rating: 10/10

  • Loved the musical numbers
  • Awesome visual effects
  • Commendable film overall
  • Can’t think of anything bad!
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Movie Review: Dead Poets Society (1989)

***** SPOILER ALERT*******

For a movie rated as a PG comedy and drama on IMDB, I wouldn’t have expected to find myself holding my breath, with my eyes glued to the screen, more often than not. I mean, the film title may have suggested a creepy aura to it… but still. To be honest though, although I like the sound of Dead Poets Society, I think the film would have been better suited with a less cult-like sounding title. Maybe just something plainer, like Mr Keating, or Honor Code or something… I don’t know, that’s just what I think.

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I have to say, its mysterious aura is brought out really well

Regardless, with its deep-set themes revolving around conformity, I highly doubt this is suitable for anyone younger than a teenager. In fact, I doubt they would even understand the main message behind the film. After all, 10 seems a bit young for someone to develop his own thoughts and mustering up the courage to go against his/her parents, unlike Neil Perry.

With the arrival of the new English teacher, Mr John Keating, cleverly played by Robin Williams, who encourages his students to think for their own, we see many of the boys in the preparatory school undergo a dynamic change in their characters.

This is demonstrated through the self-proclaimed members of the Dead Poets Society: Knox Overstreet, Todd Anderson, Neil Perry, Charlie Dalton,Cameron, Meeks and Pitts, especially the first three. First off, we have Overstreet, who finally musters up the courage to act upon his infatuation with Chris, a pretty blonde he fell in love with at first sight. He even sneaks into her school with a rose in hand, reciting a handwritten poem to Chris, despite knowing that she was already in a relationship with Chet.

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“Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

Then we have Neil, who auditions for a school production – A Midsummer’s Night Dream – and gets the major role of Puck. He was extremely good at it, but it didn’t change the fact that his father had an Asian parent mindset – that he is to go to Harvard and be a doctor or whatsoever. Even after trying and talking to his father countless times, even after his father saw how amazing his performance was, he refuses to acknowledge that Neil had his own passions and interests that may not agree with his father’s wishes. Immediately after the performance, Neil’s father brings him home and lectures him together with his mother. To which, Neil has finally given up arguing, and makes up his mind to commit suicide that night. Luckily, the other 5 Dead Poets didn’t end up having the same fate.

And finally, we have Todd Anderson, who started out as a timid boy who was afraid of public speaking. They had a homework task whereby students were to write a poem of their own then recite it in front of the class; Todd had chosen not to do it, so as to avoid reading in front of the class. But Mr Keating wouldn’t let him go just like that. No, he didn’t give Todd detention like any other teacher would. Instead, he pushed him through verbal attacks, inspiring him to come up with a poem on the spot, encouraging him to reveal his inner loud self.

Mr Keating wasn’t just any English Literature teacher; he was a life mentor who evoked a livelihood in youths like Todd and Neil. He cried when Neil committed suicide. He actually cared about his students, but because of this, he was fired.

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It’s not fair at all, is it? But I guess, at least he managed to wake up the rebel in Todd. At least he has the respect of the whole class, as evidenced by the last scene.

Overall, I think Dead Poets Society is a film with quite a meaningful message. With its monochromatic colours and cult-like aura, its sense of conformity is strong. The theme is there, though I don’t understand why certain scenes were added – for example, the scene where Charlie Dalton brought Gloria and her friend to their Dead Poet Society hideout. I mean, what was the point of this, really? I felt that the boys would have done what they did even without the help of the Dead Poet Society; they would’ve done what they did, because of Mr Keating’s classes. Thus, I felt that the mysterious aura detracts from the main theme a little. Since I felt that the society was not the main motive for the boys’ actions, I feel that the title is not fitting for the film. The mysterious aura is there, but I’m not too sure why.

It’s an original film, no doubt. But if you’re looking for a light drama, somewhat comedic, maybe this is a film for you. Don’t expect to find yourself too emotionally connected to the characters though, because if you’re looking for a way to purge your emotions, this isn’t the right movie.

 

My rating:

7/10

  • Original plot
  • Sometimes I feel that the film gives off English school vibes, rather than American (possibly a misfit of venue and design)
  • Themes of suicide and parental pressure to act according to their wishes (I’d say it’s more suitable for older teenagers)
  • Very mildly intimate scenes (Overstreet kissing Chris’s forehead)
  • A good movie to watch if you’ve just watched a very heavy, emotionally-laden film.
  • Last scene was amazing.
  • Great messages in the film

 

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Heaven

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Philip Nealey / Getty Images

I think I’m obsessed with Bryan Adams. Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to his renowned song, “Heaven”. Who knew? He also happens to be the singer of Robin Hood’s theme song, “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”. Both of which, lovely tunes.

Nonetheless, I’m hooked onto “Heaven”; I’ve heard so many different versions of it, from Boyce Avenue’s cover to Bryan Adams’s original to his live version, and I just can’t seem to get enough. Despite its genre being “Rock”, I like to think of it more as peaceful music, due to its calming and slow melody, accentuated through acoustic covers.

I have a distaste towards rock, but “Heaven” truly evokes the happiness in me. The lyrics are sentimental and so passionate, in ways other songs can never compete with.

Oh, once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you’re feelin’ down

This song makes me wonder, is love really so strong? Is it true that love is so strong it can send someone to heaven, and brighten up their worse days? And is heaven really the godly, wonderful, lit haven humans portray it to be?

 

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Secret to Life: Optimism

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https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/endless-gloomy-road_757913.htm

 

Life is a one-way journey. It starts with birth and ends with death. Some situations are beyond our control, whilst others, we have control. Either way, life’s journey doesn’t change: start with birth, end with death. What we can change, however, is our attitude towards the ups and downs in life. 

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” 

Just like every economic decision, the decisions we make in life all have an opportunity cost – that is, the next best alternative foregone when a decision is made, for all you non-economists out there ;). Anyway, my point is, we make so many decisions in a lifetime, that if we were to relive our lives and make different decisions, we’d be completely different from where who we are today.

In fact, if I were to relive my 18 years of life, I don’t even need to make different choices for 6570 days I relive. All I need is to make one decision differently, and my life might just change ever so slightly. Well, maybe not. That depends. When I say “slightly”, I mean that I would not be here in front of my laptop blogging; I’d probably be out there in the sun playing football. Or maybe I wouldn’t be an avid foodie. I don’t know what I would be, but I do know, my life would be different if I had made different decisions.

See, it’s fun to think about what life could have been, if you didn’t make this decision, or if that didn’t happen. But the thing is, we never know for sure what life will be, until we live it. There’s really no point thinking about what life could’ve or should’ve been. Even in unpleasant circumstances, even when things seem dark, there’s no point looking back and thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that,” because there’s nothing you can do now. But what you can do, is make the most out of what you have now, and learn from your mistakes. Don’t think about what life had done to you, but look forward to what life will offer you.

So no matter what happens, good or bad, keep your head up high and look to the (hopefully) brighter future. If you’re in a storm now, know that sometimes when things seem to hit rock bottom, the only way left is up, so that’s something you should look forward to. No point being all sad about it, right? 🙂

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The all-or-nothing mentality that plagues us.

It’s common knowledge that not everything in life is black and white.

When a person is killed, the person arrested at the scene of crime is not necessarily the murderer.

When you read a poem, you realise that there’s more than meets the eye, as you learn to look for figurative and metaphorical meanings.

When you make a new friend, you believe that she’s a genuine friend, until the moment she stabs you in the back and talks about you behind your back.

Nothing is really as straightforward as it seems. Yet, many people nowadays love to adopt a black-and-white or all-or-nothing view when it comes to labelling females. We’re either sluts or Virgin Mary’s. There’s no in-between. It’s not a continuum, but an “either or” situation.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll understand what it’s like to be both a slut and Virgin Mary at the same time, as ironic as that may sound. I’ve been called a “Virgin Mary” because I have never had a boyfriend in my whole life, up till high school, which is where I am at the moment. Yet, I also happen to have lots of male friends, because, well, maybe I’m just a friendly person. But no, people just cannot seem to understand that we’re all just friends. Apparently, I must be a “slut” since I have the contacts of at least 5 male friends saved in my phone. Just think about it. It makes NO sense.

It’s 2017. Sure, females may be free from traditional gender roles, but what difference does it make, if the titles of “housewife” and “caretaker” are only going to be replaced with extremes such as “bitch”, “slut”, “whore”, “Madonna”, “Virgin Mary” – I could go on and on, but you get the point. We’re not objects, for Goodness’s sakes. YOU don’t get to decide what we are, or who we are, based on who you see us with, or what you see us do. Nothing is as simple as it seems.

Just the other day, I was out at a restaurant, where I saw a table of 8 teenagers: 1 girl and 7 boys. You’d think that she’s a player, she’s a slut: my point was proven, 5 minutes later, when a couple sat down on the table next to mine, and started whispering to each other not-so-softly. I could hear them talking about what a slut she was. I may not know who this poor girl is, but one thing I know for sure is: these people have no association whatsoever to the girl either. They have absolutely NO business gossiping about her relationships. For all we know, they could have been her brothers. As to how it relates to us, well, none of those boys cheated on us. So why should we care? Just let the birthday girl have fun and enjoy herself. Why do people see the need to label girls because of the friends they choose to hang out with? Sure, we may not always make the right choices, or the wisest choices, but why is there a need to put others down?

 

We all know that it’s morally wrong to put others down. But sometimes, we still do so ourselves, be it due to jealousy, due to anger, whatnot. Our emotions drive us to do irrational, judgmental things.

But what good does this bring?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It doesn’t make us any better a person, nor does it make the victim any less good than she/he is, because at the end of the day, we’re just making judgments about someone whom we’ve probably never even spoken a word to.

So, before I conclude, here’s a message to all of you out there, who’ve been victims of this whole name-calling, who’ve been culprits of this whole phenomenon: stop putting others down. Don’t say a thing till you understand the full story, and stop judging.

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How to thank your teachers

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It’s a little less than 2 months till the end of the school year.

But if you’re like me, who loves to make and design my own cards for my teachers, you’ve probably already started on your thank you cards. It’s better to finish early than have to rush your cards at midnight just before the final day, right?

That being said, I love making cards. Designing them is simple; I can draw, I can sew, I can colour. It didn’t matter, because if I ran out of inspiration, I could just solve the problem with a click of the mouse. But what I struggle with, is what to write in the card itself, other than the lame “Thank you for teaching me”, then signing off in a huge font so as to use up more space on the otherwise almost-empty card.

So, after talking to a few of my friends and doing some research, gathering teacher insights, I’ve compiled the kinds of things that is appropriate for a teacher appreciation card (if you’re like me, who constantly worries that my cards are too sentimental or emotional, then you really should read this).

1) Start off the letter with “Dear ____”. For those of you who are graduating, this might just be the last letter your teacher will receive from you. You want it to sound sincere, and heartfelt. A “Hey ___” is a no-no – it is simply too informal; whereas a “Sir/ Madam” is way too formal. You want to maintain a familial tone in the letter.

2) Let your teacher know what this card is for. A quick “Thank you for teaching me” is a standard start to a letter, though one might think of more creative ways to replace that line. But if I’m out of time, that’s my quick go-to line.

3) Add on to the list of things to thank your teacher for. Has your teacher given up her time for extra revision sessions, just for you? Does she have a special bond with you? Has she taught you something that no other teacher has? Has she offered you guidance in life? Think about all your experiences and which you are genuinely grateful for. Write it down. This is a letter of thanks, after all, there’s no need to feel ashamed. The more genuine you are, the better.

4) Now think about the times you’ve let your teacher down, or any conflicts you have. When writing an appreciation card, it’s important to not just include good memories, but also negative ones. Because good or bad, all these are part of life. In fact, having gone through bad moments together normally strengthens the relationship a teacher has with his/her student, so they’re not necessarily bad moments per se. So here, you might include something like, “When I first joined the school, I was a troublemaker…” or maybe, “I know I haven’t always been easy to handle, with the way I constantly disrupt classes by ______. But you’ve been very ___ towards me….”, etc. Talk about these experiences and how the teacher reacted, and why you’re grateful about the way they handled the moments.

5) Do a final thank you; thanking your teacher for being the person she is. “You’ve been very kind to us….”, “You’re one of the most patient teacher…”, whatever it might be, just thank him/her for being an amazing teacher. Acknowledge that and thank your teacher for being the person she is.

Then sign off and date the card. Put it in an envelope, and voilà! Time to give it to the teacher, and personally tell them “thank you” while you pass them the card.

You may not like all your teachers, but do note that these teachers have spent time teaching you. Good or bad, they are still your teachers, and at least deserve some sort of appreciation, even if it’s just a simple “thank you”.