The Confounded Writer’s Block

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And… this has got to be a record. No new blog posts for nearly a month… Wow.

An old childhood favourite... Calvin and Hobbes

You see, I’d love to blog about something. Anything. Unfortunately my mind fails to allow me to think of an interesting topic that hasn’t been done before. It’s too busy focusing on my sinking History marks. And I haven’t written much in my book either. Gotta keep working on that one.

A sad scene that would likely take place at my desk.

I can’t stand writer’s block, honestly. But I honestly don’t consider it until I open my book to write in.

Oh dear me, I can’t seem to think of how this plot could go. Maybe if he kills the evil assistant… No, it’s too soon. Maybe he should make a new friend?

Then I realize that I have been having trouble with other things too, namely my blog.

Oh, it’s been a week since I’ve updated my blog! I must start a new post. Let’s see…

I then have to come to terms with the fact that I have no idea what to blog about, so I spend ages wracking my brain for a suitable topic.

Environmental issues? No, I’ve done that one before… Singing? Did that too. Oh what about this awesome book… Oh wait that’s been done on Freshly Pressed.

And in the end I’m just like:

A typical reaction of mine upon discovering that I have yet again been infected by writer's block.

Soon, a couple of hours pass and I have to get off the computer. I decide that if I stop thinking about it, I’ll come up with a good idea.

I’ll just take a break and see if something pops up. Sooner or later, it always does.

And before I know it, nearly an entire month has flown by and I’ve forgotten about the fact that I am suffering from the dreaded and highly fatal writer’s block. Until…

What’s *insert random name of friend here* doing over there on that computer? Oh, she’s blogging. Oh no I haven’t blogged in ages! How long has it been? AH!

So I go and check my blog for the first time in ages.

I’ve been subscribed to…! Oh. By someone who’s already deleted their account. Oh, look at all these comments. Well… 34 spam comments actually. I really must get a blog post going.

And that is how I came to be sitting here today, typing away.

It never fails, you know, no matter how often I follow online writer’s block solving tips. I got this list off the internet.

1. Implement a Writing Schedule.

Yes, I have gone back to the same place at the same time every day and still nothing springs to my head. Sometimes I just let my hand free-write on the paper and all that comes out is… garbage.

2. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself.

How can I not be? I’ve been trying for three weeks and still nothing comes out of my pen.

3. Think of Writing as a Regular Job, and Less as an Art.

4. Take Time Off If You’ve Just Finished a Project.

5. Set Deadlines and Keep Them.

(This is the only thing that really works for me… Except for the fact that the finished product is a little on the… well… awful side.)

6. Examine Deep-Seated Issues Behind Your Writer’s Block.

7. Work on More Than One Project at a Time.

(Three projects going on and I’m still getting nowhere…)

8. Try Writing Exercises.

(I do this in English class in school everyday.)

9. Re-Consider Your Writing Space.

(It’s actually a cosy little nook.)

10. Remember Why You Started to Write in the First Place.

(I need a LOT of help with this one.)

I do this... A lot.

Actually, I’ve discovered a really awesome way to beat writer’s block when it comes to blogging: If you can’t think about anything to blog about… Blog about the fact that you can’t think of anything to blog about.

Anyhow, I’ll just head off now… I just found a good plot for my book… I think.

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D-Day: Dad’s Day

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Hopefully it isn’t too late for me to compile these awesome quotes together like I did for Mother’s Day…

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~ Clarence Budington Kelland

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~ Mark Twain

Dad, you’re someone to look up to no matter how tall I’ve grown. ~ Author Unknown

None of you can ever be proud enough of being the child of such a Father who has not his equal in this world – so great, so good, so faultless. Try, all of you, to follow in his footsteps and don’t be discouraged, for to be really in everything like him none of you, I am sure, will ever be. Try, therefore, to be like him in some points, and you will have acquired a great deal. ~ Queen Victoria of England

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong. ~ Charles Wadsworth

One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be. ~ Anonymous

It is impossible to please all the world and one’s father. ~ Jean de La Fontaine

In the meantime, I shall quote my mother as a depressing melancholy parting…

Remembering the fatherless, and The Perfect Father who takes care of them all.

Happy Father’s Day.

My Experience at Nationals

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Maybe (umm… maybe not) you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted a single thing all week? Ok fine, I don’t actually post so super often, but this time around, I have a legitimate reason… I’ve been at awesome Penang for chess nationals (MSSM)! It’s my first year, so let’s just say I was super excited to the point of bursting.

Shoe shot - a tradition (credits to my namesake)

Since I’m a newbie I had no idea what I was doing. I either packed the wrong things, or didn’t pack the right things. Firstly, Penang is a beach and smart me didn’t pack shorts. Secondly, I brought along my homework. Why is this bad? Simple. We’d either be so busy with training or playing hardcore chess games. So no, no time for that. Thirdly, I didn’t bring a camera. Yes, it is true that the only camera I could bring tells you it’s out of battery every time you shoot a picture, but at least I’d have more than one of these pictures to my name. Next, I wouldn’t have brought free shampoo from another hotel because my roommates would mistake it for free ones from our hotel, and finish them off for me. The list goes on and on, but I’d better not bore you with my packing dilemmas.

That's our bus outside... This is the only photo that's mine... *cries*

The first day involved what should have been a 5-hour drive in a nice bus with nice air-conditioning. Instead, it involved an EIGHT HOUR drive in a hot bus that practically resembled a sauna (to be optimistic, it was a free one). On the bright side, though, it was fun the whole drive. I sat next to a crazy peyi (tamil for ghost) who wore sunglasses so she could sleep without people noticing (of course, everyone noticed because they were all thinking “Why is she wearing those things?) and kept whacking me on the head with a pink pillow every time I shut my eyes for a few seconds. And since there were two other people with my name in the bus… things got confusing.

View while crossing the bridge (by Pavi)

When we reached there, it was time to register for the competition. Of course, we just HAD to go to the wrong place for registration… I mean, duh, we can’t get it right. What’s the fun in that?

Registration (photo credits to our awesome captain)

We checked in to our dwelling for the week: Paradise Hotel. Right next to the beautiful beach – which we were not allowed to go to (though some of us went anyway) – and one kilometer away from the tournament hall. I was told that last year they ended up in a hut of some sort (thankfully I didn’t make it then), so our hotel must’ve been an improvement. We checked in and heaved our bags into the lift. Everyone got rooms from floors 5-8… While me and three others were the only ones all the way up on floor…wait for it…SIXTEEN!

As I said, there were four of us… And walking onto a room on a floor stories high from everyone else’s felt like a blessing due to the breathtaking view.

The beach ❤ (by Pavi)

Isn't the sea so pretty? 😀 (by Pavi)

The lovely sunset 🙂 (by Pavi)

Until we got into the bedroom and discovered two SINGLE beds. SINGLE beds. We tried pushing the beds together and had enough space for three people. Just as I was about to take the sofa, we came to a funny solution… We heaved the soft, short upper mattress off the hard, tall mattress of one of the beds and slept lengthwise on that, with our heads on the short (but soft) mattress and our legs flying up on the taller, harder one. Needless to say, we awoke with aches and pains.

We had training and game analyzation every night at 8:30 and most of the free time we had was taken up by either training (in room 606 with a coach or by ourselves in our rooms) or going completely crazy with roommates (admittedly, more of that). And even though we were next to the most beautiful beach ever we were BANNED from going there. Obviously, some of us just snuck off anyway… No big deal, right? 😉

Our photoshoot! (credits for photo to one of the parents)

The second day started off with a photo session for all competing states (yes, all 15 of them), with a banner in the background. In the afternoon of our second day we played our first 3-hour round. Maybe it was because I was a newbie, but my heart was beating so fast that I thought the world should’ve heard it by then… Like dug-dug, dug-dug… But since no one seemed to notice I guess it was fine. My stomach was twisting with funny butterflies by the time the first round was inaugurated. But of course it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I won the round (YAY!!!)

Third day… Second round today. I found out I was playing with some girl but I didn’t know who she was… I didn’t have time to find out if she was good… Until after the round. She’s supposed to be a strong player. Now this is not usually my principal, but in this case, ignorance was bliss because I won due to lack of fear that she was an awesome player. XD In the afternoon my category had a break and went for training in room 606… for hours. We were glad when it finally ended, so my roommates and I could go crazy dancing like maniacs in our room! 😛

Fun group shot (credits to Joyce)

Fourth day… I ended up zooming all the way up to the second table and playing with one of those super strong players. AHHHH!!! Well I lost this round. 😛 Even though I wanted to know what I did wrong by analyzing my game that night, I caught a cold and had to go to bed early. =.=

Fifth day and woke up with a fever. Sigh. Lost the morning round because one of the arbiters was (and still is) very biased against our state (coz we’re awesome, yeah), and also because concentration was low. Oh well. Then I drank 100 Plus so the fever sort of went down, allowing me to win the next round in the afternoon. We got some awesome news that day too. The boys under 15 team had played their last round and… won gold! 😀

Last day… I won the final round giving me a not-too-bad final score of 4/6. Since it’s my first time I won’t beat myself up about it. The best part? This year my state, KL, took home FOUR gold medals and TWO silver medals. And I took home an 8th place medal (oh well xP). The best part of the entire thing was feeling that amazing sensation you get from winning, and knowing you played for your state. Riding home was full of singing, cheering, junk food and just going crazy.

Victory! (credits for photo to my namesake)

Needless to say, I had a lot of fun (understatement :P). It’s sad to see all the seniors heading off because it’s their last year, though…

Next year I am so joining again… With a camera!

Thoughts into Music, Lyric onto Paper – My Outlet

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So, everyone needs an outlet, right? A way to express themselves. A way to tell someone or something what’s on their mind, or a way to calm down, or a way to be oneself, especially after a long day. How one can (corniness alert) express what’s on your mind in a way words can never explain. A magic remedy. I know people who draw, or play an instrument, or something like that, and that’s their magical potion.

And me?

I may dance when angry, write when flustered and sing when sad, but none of them beat this:

I love writing songs. I’ve been doing it since I was 2. At that point, of course, it was just a bunch of gibberish where the only audible words were “riding in a playground”, but hey. The tune was catchy… ish. Just enough to sound presentable to other gobbledygook-speaking babies.

The second song, with real words this time, was written when I was seven. Something about the Sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Despite being ridiculous, it did help me to better envision the rotation of the Sun when I had to. It saved my Science test once. So, even though it’s the worst song in the history of songs, it’s my favourite, not only because it rescued my marks, but also because it began the stream of self-written songs that were in tangible language.

Next came the song with a ridiculous line. I myself have no idea what on earth could have possessed me to write “And I’ve heard that home is where the heart is, but right now the only place my heart is in is in my chest”. I know. Epically awful.

Soon it was more songs with senseless words and repetitive tunes where the chorus only appeared once. After that it was crazy songs that went out of time and key in random places. The words were always fine, but the melody always sounded like every other song out there. Typical lame tunes.

Then I got a guitar, and finally my rhythm shaped up. All emo songs of course, full of funny emotions that seemed too old for me. What I began to notice was that all my songs were sad songs. The only happy song I had at the time was my first nice song, that ran along the lines of love.

This is paradise

I’m in paradise

Whenever I see you smile at me

It’s paradise

I tell you, I didn’t even understand what I was writing about!

A while after that, my songs took a turn for the more negative. I had the most depressing songs anyone could’ve imagined! And still no sign of a happy song anywhere, by the way. At least they made sense (to other strange people).

And finally, last year… Bingo! A happy song! Yipee!

Since last year, actually, my songs began to sound more original. They were more balanced; not too sad, not too sappy.

What do I use to write songs? In the beginning (not the heavens or the earth), it was just vocals and a good memory. When I learned the piano, I still couldn’t play a tune I liked on it. And then (choir of angels, please) I got a guitar! I could then play my own songs and compose them properly. And soon I began writing with the piano (cue round of applause) too. Unfortunately my memory got a tad bad and I started forgetting my tune. My phone didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a recorder, so I use my mom’s phone to record whatever awesome tune I come up with.

I write songs because I love to. It’s my favourite way to express myself. When I’m too frustrated to write in my diary, I take it all out on a music score. I pour my heart out onto paper (it’s more patient than people). Every time something bad happens, I close my eyes and whisper to myself, “I’ll write a song about this later”. After a rough and long day, you can see me scribbling away at a piece of paper. Writing songs helps me to sort through my emotions and discover what I’m really feeling when I’m confused. It releases my stress and makes me feel a whole lot better in the end.

So what about you? What’s your outlet?

Mother’s Day

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I’m not planning to say much for this blog (phew, that’s a relief), but I did compile a whole bunch of quotes to put down here. Really, there isn’t anything I can say to thank my mom enough for all she’s done over these past years. So I’ll just say:

Happy mother’s day! Selamat hari ibu! 母亲节快乐! Gelukkige moederdag! Feliz día de las madre! Heureuse fête des mères! Máithreacha sásta lá!

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~ Tenneva Jordan

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.  ~ Robert Brault

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.  ~ Washington Irving

Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly. ~ Sarah Malin

Who ran to help be when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
My Mother.
~ Ann Taylor

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers. ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe


And my favourite which I found online:

Some Reasons I Owe My Mother

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck,
you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your soup.”

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTION.
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
“You’ll sit there until all the spinach and olives are gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Now, don’t you exaggerate!”

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world
who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.


Anyhow, Mom, thanks for everything! You really are a SUPERMOM!

What An Art Project Can Do To You

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I’ve been working (read “toiling and struggling and dying”) on an Art Project (read “highly unimportant and unnecessary hassle”) that is due this Tuesday and so far the only thing I’ve learned from all the research is that I can’t draw to save my life. Aside from that, I’ve also discovered that I don’t like our traditional cloth patterns so much… That’s our preassigned (read “forced on us”) topic. Batik.

Batik

ridwansyahyusufachmad.wordpress.com

Batik is our traditional cloth, done using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Over here in Malaysia, we’re more towards floral motifs with super vibrant colours. Thankfully, this is more to my taste (read “tolerable”) than the dull, murky brown colour (if it can even be called a colour) I’ve been seeing each time I hit the search button.

Still, there’s something I don’t like so much about batik. I guess it’s just not my style. For a while I mused over what type of art I could possible like. I’m a downright nerd and I need to think all the time. Chess. Minesweeper. Poker. Maths. The list goes on and on. So yeah. I’m pretty much a ‘left-side-of-brain’-er.

Then I recalled my last trip to a museum, where my family and I got into the Art Museum instead of the main one. I remember that I did enjoy looking at the art. I mean, sure, there were a couple of things that sort of caught my eye, but my favourite, favourite, favourite genre of art is definitely (no, not cubism; as much as i love Maths) abstract art.

Alright. Time for a technical left-side-of-brain explanation (taken, of course, from Wikipedia).

Kandinsky's "On White 2"

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. The arts of cultures other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time.

Phew. Okay. Enough with the History Lesson.

"Three Musicians" by Pablo Picasso, one of my personal favourites

What I like about Abstract Art is that it makes me think. Like, really think about what the artist had going through his or her mind at the time. I think about what it could mean to one person and what it could mean to another.In short, I like any kind of art that makes me think. Or evokes some sort of emotion in me; that works too. But never mind that.

I do have a sketch book, you know. I’m not utterly hopeless at drawing (or am I?). I used to draw different things everyday, from emo anime girls to tattoo designs. But I’m mostly a copy artist, so now that sketch book is gathering dust at the far back corner of my stacks upon stacks of journals and diaries.

As far as the Art Project goes, I am now going complete out the box. Part of our assignment is to make a collection of pictures of different batik patterns or motifs that could be used for batik.  Instead of going for muddy-coloured gloominess or rainbow-shaded eye-hurting brightness, I opted for modern abstract patterns (which, truth be told, is one of the very few art styles I’m good at).

Ok, now time to stop blogging and actually get the freaking project done. Bye…

At The 11th Hour (and 59 mintues)

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So, honestly, really, what is it with everyone and being late? It’s either they’re racing through the hallway looking like a wild ocelot because they’re late for a super important awesome-ly awesome seminar, or burning the midnight oil, straining to finish a report due the very next day that they knew about ages ago (wow, that was a long sentence). If neither, they’re calmly walking, slow as possible, dragging their feet, up to someone and saying, “Hey, by the way, I forgot to tell you the last billion times I saw you, for the last fortnight or so, but you have a meeting in 5 minutes.” I mean, come on, people.

Yesterday I nearly had a panic attack when I was told that selections for nationals was that day! In half an hour! Oh, and yeah, get your own transport, please. Oh, and it’s compulsory, by the way.

In the end, my teacher tells us that the thing is today and not yesterday, and it isn’t the playoffs, it’s the training. And they had me running around frantically fumbling in my bag for coins to call my mom using the pay phone that constantly says “Updating”.

Ok, ok, so I’ll admit to doing many things last-minute. Like, umm… studying for my Geography test or finishing up my Art project (due next Tuesday, just so you know) or something not-so-panic-insuing like that. Not some sort of thing that will get other people killed (or at least have them dying of heart attack).

I used to be the most professional procrastinator you’d ever meet, but I learned a few things and now I’m a bit more chill. First off, I stopped being a yes-man (or, more accurately, yes-girl). Used to be, I’d juggle marching, performances and library responsibilities all in one go. More often than not, something would fall to the floor and shatter, then I’d lose focus and everything else would come tumbling down to. Now, it’s one at a time, please.

Next, I started writing everything I had to do down. I used to cram everything into my head. Then it’d all overflow and I’d lose half my important memories (needless to say, the useless ones never spill out). This year, I watched my best friend list everything neatly down in a notebook she got for her birthday and decorate the pages with hearts and doodles, then it hit me. I brought out an old notepad that had been gathering dust in a filing cabinet and started jotting down homework, assignments and projects.

And one more thing. I set reminders in my phone for everything, from bringing my glasses when my contacts have expired to exams and meetings. It doesn’t always work, because usually I’m too groggy to read my reminders when they alarm at 5 in the morning and I just hit random buttons to silence it. More often than not, I miss the “postpone” button on the left and hit the “stop” button on the right instead. =.=

Anyways, that’s all I’ve come up with. And I still do things late! Sigh…

Today, I headed off to the training, sat down across a future opponent and asked, “This is the training, right?” And what did she say?

“No. This is the playoff.”

You… have… got… to… be… kidding… me…

Game. Set. Match.

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This Year's MSSMWP Chess Tourney

mssmkl.blogspot.com

I’ve been raving about my hobbies lately… So… Here’s another one for you!

I love playing chess (read: g-e-e-k). I never actually got the game when I was little – my father spoonfed me moves and let me win all the time, causing me to think I was real good… Until I joined a mini-chess tournament at school and lost in the first round.

I’ve been competing in chess since standard 5. It was funny, how I started out. Playing chess properly for one week, trying out for the team, going for it and… WHAM! First game, I checkmated my opponent in 4 moves, and not intentionally. I took a pawn with my queen and said “Check”… and the arbiter declared “Checkmate”. I walked away from the table thinking, Now, how did that happen? Our team proceeded to win first place in the Under-12 team event. And then I won the individual event by beating the defending champion. Not by checkmate, though… she ran out of time. =.=

I thought state level that year when I was 11 would be easy…

I got thrashed that year

Why? Simple. Beginner’s luck wore off.

Anyway, from then on it was practice, practice, practice. I worked hard and we got two golds again the next year.

Check... check... checkmate!

Now, I’ll have you know that in primary school, chess competitions were very straight forward. We hop into our teacher’s car or van, we’d go, play the games, go home.

Then I entered high school.

I was the youngest member on the team when I got in, and I found out that they didn’t use teachers’ cars. Our teacher hired a rackety, rickety, rockety bus, with a driver who is constantly late, anywhere from half an hour to 120 minutes. No kidding. Back in my freshman year, we waited for two full hours in front of a military school, craning our necks the whole time, on the lookout, just hoping for a glimpse of a broken-down yellow-coloured bus that looks more like a junkyard. Yeah. Sucks. In fact, last year, the boys would always joke as they got down or up the bus, “Thank you for being so early!”

A chess tournament is pretty straight forward once you arrive… You are told to arrive by 8:00 because the games will start at 8:30, but they start at least a half hour late. The worst was a full 2 hours off schedule.

This year, the bus was so late we nearly got disqualified before our first round! That sucked. What’s worse, we had been registered for the wrong category. That took some time to sort out before we could get some breakfast at the grubby canteen. Now, for the past few years, the chess tournament has been housed by a school full of weird guys. The girls and I keep looking over our shoulders and muttering to each other, “Faster, walk faster…” We rejoiced to the high heavens when the principal of the school gave a looooooong speech (that made those who won feel bad and those who lost feel worse) and announced that the tourney would not be housed there next year. The cheer for that was crazy loud.

I won good and got to State level. This year was my last year in the category, so I wanted to make it to Nationals. It was only three of us girls making it to the individual event this time around. No guys from our school made it this far. I was continually put up against the hard opponents. It gave me headaches and had mini-fevers, but on the plus side, when I won my sokoff (rating) went ZOOM.

The bus lady abandoned us this year, by the way, so we rode with an old bus driver with the meanest temper you have ever seen. His wrinkled hand was almost never off the horn! Chinese expletives were yelled over and over again at innocent passing cars. Not to mention that the van is stifling hot! I’ll have you know that it has perfectly functioning air conditioning that is never used. Then one day he abandoned us too (apparently the van needed repairing) and the three of us (plus one teacher) had to get a cab home.

On the plus side, I’m number 5 in State this year. Last year, they took the top 6 to Nationals.  And guess what? Now they decide that we have to go for selection because they have decided to only take two people. Bother! I really want to go!

My interest in chess has somewhat wavered over the years, and only came back stronger last year, which is also the year I got the most practise. Call me a nerd if you like… And a dork too. But I enjoy chess, even though it gives me splitting headaches.

So… Shall I give you a dose of corniness?

Why did the chemist combine aspirin and glue? He thought it could be a cure for splitting headaches!!! 😀

Cheers!

Beads

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I confess to being a bead addict.

No, I don’t mean collecting beads in an album or something. I mean beading, as in, like, making jewelery, or sewing beads onto a piece of cloth in some randomly awesome pattern, or just stringing them onto a piece of thread and tying them around something.

I started this hobby – I dunno, a year or so ago? – when I wanted to make a bracelet for one of my friends and found that, despite my inability to remain still for more than a minute, I loved it. Even with my infamous impatience I found that I enjoyed the process.

And that’s how I started getting wrapped up in the tedious process of creating bracelets, earrings and necklaces (not to mention a few miserably failed rings) with thin elastic bands or sometimes flimsy wires. When I can’t get pretty (and pricey) beads from a bead store, I just cut them off of an old piece of jewelery that I have that is gathering dust since who knows when and that I will probably never wear again.

If worse comes to worst, I just pick up one of those super cheap beading sets for kids. Trust me, they don’t look anything like toddler’s beads once they’re on a pretty bracelet! 😀

Old Music vs New Music

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If you haven’t already noticed, I am completely, profoundly and immensely addicted to music. I’m so immersed in the world of singing and dancing and pianos and guitars that I don’t think I’ll ever get out of it.

And how do I conquer this addiction?

Simple. I don’t.

I grew up listening to the radio to fall asleep, belting out old-fashioned songs that I learned from my father, and completely oblivious to “modern” songs. Plus, I learned them all completely off-key! It wasn’t until I was older that I discovered that not all songs sounded fresh out of the 80’s and that I had learned all songs from a tone-deaf person!

Since then, though, I’ve fallen completely in love with music. I sang day and night (annoying many as I went), everything from the Bee Gees to Katy Perry; and anything from David Gates to Linkin Park. I took up piano and guitar and performed where I could.

Lately, I’ve come across more old songs and I find that they are far more beautiful than the disposable, overrated ones we hear, blasting on the radio, today. They were sung by performers who actually could sing, all with wonderful voices. Unlike today, where half, if not most, of the singers sing with their voices autotuned and overproduced, singing the same note for most of the song, and even more often, the same phrase.

But that hasn’t stopped me singing “Like a G6, like a G6, n-now-now-now I’m feeling so fly like a G6” non-stop at thetop of my voice!

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Coz unfortunately, when one is addicted to music, any kind of music is awesome.

The title is really inappropriate… I think I should change it to “Why I Love New Music Even If Old Music Is Awesome”.

Oh well, lazy…

Gonna go sing annoyingly repetitive and monotonous songs now! Bye…