"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Saturday, January 28, 2012

he who was never mine

he who was never mine
wanders lost
and then comes into my open arms
weeping with relief
lulled to sleep by my cracked bleeding lullaby

he who was never mine
hunts the doe in my forest
but only for the chase
she that lies scarlet on the forest floor

he who was never mine
sings my praises carelessly
as if he does not see
that i know they mean nothing to him
and everything to me

he who was never mine
has boundless energy
regaling me with the stories
already etched in my soul
tales of a time gone...going...gone.
soon i will walk on

but he will follow

unable to leave
not knowing that he should stay here

in my heart

he who was never mine
would be safe with me

get your bitch on.

So it's the summer before year twelve and, naturally, I'm doing what all year twelve girls do just before the final year of school starts - freak out over ball ;).

Actually, I haven't had a lot to freak out about. Everything is set. The way I like it.

But seriously, ball is just a hormonal signal to the female brain that says GET YOUR BITCH ON.

They've gone crazy.

There's a page of facebook now dedicated entirely to posting a picture of your dress for the whole grade to see to 'prevent doubles'. I'm sorry, but isn't that kind of meant to be a surprise? The only person who knows exactly what I'm going to be wearing is belephant, and she hasn't even seen me all dressed up. It's my little secret that I've literally kept in the closet for years.

Luckily, I haven't had to bow to peer pressure and spoil the surprise because absolutely nobody will have my dress. It's that ugly. No, I had a beautiful gown custom made in Shanghai - and yes, that was back in year nine. And seeing as it is my own personal design, and I have been branded a freak of nature by just about everyone in the grade, it is pretty impossible somebody will show up looking exactly the same as me. Actually, it's probably never occurred to them that the grade skipper might actually show up looking half-decent.

At any rate, even if they did, would they look exactly the same? Would they be Asian, 5'3", 54.5kg with the exact same date, makeup, hair, shoes, etc? No. I like to think that individuality transcends apparel, but apparently nobody agrees with me on that. They're all like 'if anybody gets anything similar I'll kill you' followed half heartedly by 'rofl lol luv ya'. I mean, how do you think the boys feel? All suits look the same! It's just mean to be so self obsessed for something like this. Is it copying if you find something that looks breathtaking on you and somebody else thought it was lovely, too? So what if someone looks similar to you? As long as you yourself look good, it doesn't matter. I will look exactly the same in my ball dress even if everyone else looked the same as me.Because I'm me, and it takes more than a dress to become the kind of person I am. Individuality is not stopping people from doing what you do, but doing things nobody else would dare dream of.   

I just would have thought that friendship and keeping the peace is more important than making sure you look like the odd one out.

On a side note, there are absolutely rubbish resources for people trying to organize a ball. My friend and I had to sort through what felt like the entire world wide web to find the best deal on the limo, etc. After the ball I'll post what I did, and tips, etc.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Operation Get Fit: how the hell do you lose the last five kilos?

So I found it really easy to drop from 58kg to 55kg. It was three kilos, but I lost it in two weeks.

But now I'm stuck in a rut. I've been 55kg for what seems like ages now, and it doesn't matter what I do, it doesn't go up (good) or down (bad).  I feel good, and I look good, but...I know I can do better. I used to be 50kg. It wasn't that long ago. It was before boys and ramen screwed with my head, and stomach. It's like getting 95 in an English essay when you're pushing for 100. You get there eventually, but those last five marks are the hardest to get.

How do you lose the last five kilos? Any tips?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

after a month of coldplaY and paramOre it's pUre irony that my life is now playing like a taylor swift song.

it's the week BeforE schooL starts. nOrmally, this is wheN i start panickinG and Willing tIme To go slower. but tHis year, of all years, i'M not. bring it on. bring on ball, and Exams, and graduation.

Tag: Get Your Freak On!

1. What's a nickname only family call you? 

Well, for obvious reasons, nobody in real life calls me 'Lady Renegade' or 'Lady Solitaire'. My dad and my Korean family are really the only people who say my name as it's meant to be - last name first, with the proper Korean accent - everyone else just says it in the Western way, warped in a variety of different accents. My sister, naturally, has a variety of derivative and mildly insulting nicknames for me, which I'm sure you can figure out.

2. What's a weird habit of yours?

Everything I do is weird.

3. Do you have any weird phobias?

I'm still scared of the dark...

4. What's a song that you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?

Oh, loads. When I'm around people I only play alternative stuff, because that's the kind of school I go to, or the generally accepted Taylor Swift. I LOVE Horrible Histories, and as a consequence of that I know the lyrics of most of the songs, which I sing alot :). Despite my long-standing boycott of K-Pop, I do have a couple tracks on my iPod, which I play when nobody's within earshot. But my biggest music sin is Miley Cyrus. I may get lynched when I go back to school.

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

I hate it when people SNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFF really loudly. I hate it when I'm not in uniform and people make me give up my seat on the train. I hate it when I wake up and my hair looks like it's been hit by a train. Stuff like that. Just so I don't sound whiney, I love it when I wake up and my hair looks super cool. I love it when I wake up and there isn't a giant zit on my nose. I love lying on grass and watching the clouds puff by. I love writing poems. Stuff like that.

6. What's one of your nervous habits?

I had a really bad stutter when I was a kid, and when I'm nervous or wound up I can actually get rendered speechless. Highly embarassing. I'm also a really bad public speaker, so I wind up laughing at my own jokes when I'm nervous.

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

I always sleep facing the door. I can't sleep facing the wall. I feel like Dracula's going to creep up on me and say BOO!

8. What was your first stuffed animal and its name?

I have a violet bunny rabbit in purple pyjamas called Rabby - inventive, no? Rabby has a special place in my heart - she was the only person who stayed by my side during my operation when I was five. Apparently when I came round the surgeon said 'Oh look, she's got her teddy bear with her' and I told him, grumpily, 'Can't you see it's a RABBIT???'

9. What's the drink you always order at starbucks?

I have boycotted Starbucks, for no other reason other than THEY MAKE SHIT COFFEE. I love going to Miss Maud's for lattes, though, and in the summer I love Gloria Jeans Voltage, which is just a strong shot of coffee with lots of milk, ice and sugar.

10. What's a beauty rule that you preach, but never actually practice?

I used to be a makeup addict, so I know every single beauty rule in the book. But I'm also extremely lazy, so I don't do any of them other than washing off my makeup before I go to bed - not so hard now that I hardly wear makeup. I think my biggest vice is not washing my makeup brushes enough...when they're dirty and in a hurry I just use my fingers....

11. Which way do you face in the shower?

Towards the door. I watched Psycho.

12. Do you have any weird body skills?

I don't need any. I just tell people I'm a cyborg. It's kinda true. Because I'm so medically screwed up, I can't really donate my body to science, but I could donate a lot of scrap metal...

12. What's your favourite comfort food that's 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?

When I was younger ramen was a multi-purpose pain killer, anti-depressant and ex-boyfriend killer. Now my favourite comfort food is chendol, which is a South-East Asian dessert made of coconut milk, shaved ice, palm sugar and red beans. Soooo unhealthy....luckily, the only place in Perth that makes decent chendol is a million miles away.

13. What's a phrase or exclaimation you always say?

I used to pick up things from ex boyfriends, so when I was younger I would say 'n'duh' and stuff a lot. Now I've picked up something from Horrible Histories: saying 'serious question?' in a bad French accent whenever somebody asks me something.

14. Time to sleep. What are you actually wearing? 

Malaysian batik. It's a standard uniform for the women in my mother's family. Although, in year eight, I did cause a bit of a stir by showing up to breakfast at school camp wearing a rather hideous pumpkin-orange jersey and mickey mouse trackpants...

Monday, January 23, 2012


Do you still remember those very painful matters,
Counting the days until my love returns.
In silence I remember my pain,
For you go where I cannot follow.

Could you not return to my side?
Could you not fall in love again?
My heart cannot forget you,
Do not forget our love;
When you suffer I will be by your side to protect you.

Could we not stop here?
Could we not forget our path?
My heart cannot forget you,
Do not forget our love;
When you suffer I will be by your side to protect you.

A translation of 'Promise' by Jang Yoon Jung, from Yi San.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the cuckoo has to leave the nest someday.

I often wish I was more patriotic than I am. I wish I had that kind of desperate love for my country, the profound desire to live and die in service of my homeland. But I don't. I appreciate that Australia is a good place to live, but my connection is cool, detached, and easily breakable.

I've often attributed my cynicism to being a second-generation immigrant. As an immigrant, you see the opportunities and abundance of a new, wealthy nation. But juxtaposed with this is the problems of being born here, but not really belonging. The flaws have more significance to you, and are deeper and more troubling than they are to other people. I see a society enjoying a pleasant facade of peace and security, but ever so close to breaking point. I see little tiny cracks in the system that are hushed up, ready to become full blown faults ready to send the whole institution crumbling.

Optimistic, huh?

My mother comes from Singapore, and from her side I am descended from Cantonese peasants - people who were born as nobodies and died as nobodies. Their lives, loves, tragedies...none of it is known. My father comes from South Korea, and from that side I am descended from Korean nobility. My Korean ancestors are people who wrote history - ministers, generals, the wives and mothers of kings. It's a very strange mix.

My paternal family is very patriotic - most Koreans are. Everything is bigger, better, and Korean. The Koreans are very proud of their rich cultural heritage, their people and the challenges they have overcome - and so they should. My grandfather has spent his whole life upholding the family name and traditional Korean principles, marred somewhat by his youngest son's marriage to a Singaporean woman. My grandfather is a true pater patriae, and he gets much of his strength from that. At nearly eighty, he's hardly young, but he's full of energy as he dashes around, spending his retirement doing what he loves. I wish I had that kind of zeal. My dad is the first person from our line to leave Korea to create a life of his own.

My mother, however, comes from a family of wanderers. They left Canton for Singapore. My mother and her siblings have left Singapore for the world - America, Germany, England, Australia, Malaysia, China. Some came back, others left for good.

My mother is a wanderer. Singapore never clicked for her. It's her story, but she left and built her own life for herself. Built a career, got married, started a family. Starting from the bottom, working her way up.

I want to do that. I want to leave and start again. It has little to do with how good or bad Australia is. I am a wanderer, like my mother, like her ancestors. I want to be reborn. And maybe, I'll find a place where I can truly be a patriot.      

Saturday, January 21, 2012

There are a thousand things I can never say.
A thousand things I will write,
Then burn.
A thousand things buried in my heart,
To become one with the earth.
As ashes, swept away from the hearth.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

kai su, teknon.

I hear.

When you are with her
You are an actor.
A courtier;
In a world where everything rhymes,
And water turns to wine.

But with me,
You put on your glasses,
Pull off your tie,
Crack open a beer;
Pour open your heart and then
Sleep, contented.

You throw down your armour,
I am not a prize.

When you see me
We play a game.
I believe they call it
Tit for tat.

But when I take the veil
I am
An ear.

To you,
My skills as an actress are


Saturday, January 07, 2012

I've decided to embrace my inner nerd. A few days ago I went out and bought the biggest pair of tortoiseshell glasses I could find. If they're gonna treat me like a freak, then I'm going to act the freak.

This is still no excuse for not having a d-word so close to the Date.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Humble Pie, Part Deux.

A few weeks back I wrote about bombing an English essay and eating a very, very humble pie.

But I never did manage to tell you what happened.

After deciding that I shouldn't do any more risky pioneering into foreign territory, I decided to write on the used and abused path of James Bond - nothing new, but there was lots of research from which I could pull something interesting. I wrote about how James Bond is the people's hero, and how different elements of the Bond franchise have evolved over the decades to keep Bond a relevant icon in a changing society.

The essay I wrote in the three days before exam week was the hardest essay I have ever written. Firstly, the work load was huge - although I had written brilliant essays in a mere few hours (actually, I very rarely stretch out essays - I do it in one short burst of inspiration) I normally take my time with the research. The amount of Bond I read, researched and watched during that long weekend was ridiculous. Casino Royale remains one of my most favourite movies, but if I ever see Sean Connery's fat fuzzy chest again I'm going to scream.

But the hardest challenge this essay presented was the insecurity. I have spent much of my life writing shit and feeling very very confident that it was still awe inspiring stuff. I've never had any problem writing before this - anything from essays or blog posts. But I would start this Bond essay, delete it, and then start again. I wrote five million plans and had about three million openings and conclusions, but nothing gelled, and from the insecurity arose panic. I had millions of ideas bouncing in my head, but I couldn't write it. I very nearly gave up.

And then finally, it clicked. Just like that. All the research and drafts and plans and beginnings and endings and ideas all glued together. I was back on home territory and I wrote it from start to finish. I polished it up, compiled my bibliography and emailed it my amazingly brilliant teacher, made more edits, and emailed it again.

To this day I don't actually know what I got for that Bond essay, and I did have six exams to write after that, so I had no time to think about it once I sent it. What I do know is that my teacher loved it, and that was really all that mattered - that I'd done a good job, and I'd made my teacher proud. Actually, I didn't know what I got for any of my subjects until I read my report a few days ago, because even though my teacher emailed my exam results my email stuffed up and I didn't actually read it until about twenty seconds ago.

I have never had a harder academic challenge than this essay. Nothing else has humbled me more than sitting at my computer, the weekend before exams, struggling through the insecurity of writer's block to write an essay that was up to my standards. But nothing has been more rewarding.

I have been wanting to be top in English ever since the year seven awards, where I missed out on the English award because I had some racist asshole for a teacher. When I got to high school and skipped a grade I'd always missed out on being top because, being at the top school, there are many weird and wonderful geniuses to compete with, all of whom had the advantage of an extra year's schooling with some of the state's best English teachers. The talent in Perth Mod is electric; hell hath no fury like a lit class full of overreaching, overachieving lit bugs, always engaged in a friendly yet all-consuming battle to be the best. But I've never given up on the hope that someday, somewhere, I'd be named as the best English student.

I opened my report, and I saw the Bs and the C and the shitty attendance rate that kicked me out of the Sphinx Society. But to be honest, this is what I saw first:

Final Mark: 96
School Examination: 100
Honour Certificate for Highest Achievement in English: Year Eleven, Semester Two.

I did it.

When you're a kid...

When I was a kid I dreamed of being sixteen. Being sixteen would straighten all my problems out. I'd be tall and beautiful, and smart, and I'd be on my way to Oxford and all the boys would adore me. I'd have big boobs and I'd be learning to drive a flashy car. I couldn't wait to be sixteen.

Now I am nearly sixteen, and I'm not tall or beautiful. I am smart, but in Australia that's not necessarily a good thing. I don't know if I'm on my way to Oxford and 'all the boys' certainly don't adore me. I do have big boobs, but I can hardly walk in a straight line, let alone drive. But I have something that I never thought I would have: a little tiny faint glimmer of wisdom.

When you're a kid you hold on to things, hold life-long grudges. When life is such a short blur the most trivial things cut deep, leave scars. I remember the day my sports teacher yelled at me for 'creeping around his shed' when my teacher asked me to go get some sport equipment. I remember almost every instance of getting into trouble, being bullied, being rejected by countless boys. You forget about the teachers, the bullies, the boys; you hold no emotional connection with them after a little while, but you never forget the surge of emotion that floods the hot little head of your childish self. At least, that's how it is for me. I don't forget things easily, and I remember them because the emotion floods back, as if I were a little six year old with scabby knees all over again.

When I first started high school I fell in love with my best mate, and after one year of stupid hopes and prayers it all came to a rather messy end. To this day I have not been able to adequately explain to anyone how something as simple as that led to a wave of depression - how it sparked such bitterness and anger. He was nothing special, I was nothing special, and whatever we had or did was nothing special; and I have been told that many many times since. There were other boys and other heartbreaks, but this one hit the hardest. There was lots of guilt, too, because here I was being all miserable over some little boy when there were starving people and babies dying of AIDS - people don't hesitate to remind me of that either. God only knows how many friends I lost, how much time I wasted over this, and to be honest, I don't even understand it. I've been through heart surgery and much bigger things, but this was the thing that threw me into the deep end.

To everyone who stood by me through this and everything else, to everyone who was bewildered, frustrated, angered and insulted by my rather spectacular display of schoolgirl patheticness, I'm not going to justify going crazy. I'll just say that that was the Last Grudge - the last moment of bitterness I'll remember from childhood; the last little trivial thing from the early days to bring back that kind of emotion. Life gets longer, and the little heartbreak kid gets wiser - and since then, I have never had one of those moments. But my little nostalgic trips down memory lane is full of these moments of pure emotion that I can recall as if they all happened yesterday: and this, my friend, is one of them. It's these little things that make you stronger.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Operation Get Fit: The Sundowner Diet.

Update: A month of Asian binging has pushed my weight up to 56.5kg, but I did drop 1kg in 2 days and I have now been sitting on 55.5kg for a couple of days now. And I credit the Sundowner Diet. 

The diet: no carbs (potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, noodles etc.) after sunset. Which is, at present, about 7:30pm, but can be as early as 5pm in winter. This in conjunction with a diet high in protein and fibre and low in fat and carbs is the key to healthy eating and non-crazy weight control.

The Sundowner Diet has joined a list of celebrity fads, most of which were invented in the 20s. But this one, I think, has a little bit of credibility, and the proof is in the (lack of) pudding - I have been on this diet for a week, and this is the longest time gluttonous yours truly has ever stuck to a diet. And it makes so much sense.

The main sources of energy are fat, carbs and protein, and too much of any is never a good thing. This is why soulfood, which dates back to African slavery in America, is chockers full of fat - to keep up with the hard labour of the black slaves. But fat and carbs consumed that aren't burnt become, well, fat - namely spare tires, muffin tops and fat thighs. And because nobody runs marathons after dinner, dinner shouldn't comprise of fat and carbs.

So what do I eat? What I love: protein. Dairy and meat, just the low fat kind - so semi skim milk, lean meat, small amounts of cheese (but not my favourite, uber-fatty cheddar) and eggs. And lots of vegies - just not potatoes - and fruit (mangoes and passionfruit are in season! Yay!) And the stuff that is all so often pushed around and forced down - rice - is completely obliterated from my dinner time menu. Bread and noodles, which I like, are eaten before the sunset deadline.

And I have been exercising! Swimming and walking, and I hope to get back to ice skating before I completely forget how to lace my boots up. After I came back I was bloated from air travel, aeroplane food and massive quantaties of Asian delicacies, and evidence of it popped up in quirks like moodiness, strange pains, breathlessness and the gag reflexes of a pregnant woman, which was just lovely, I tell you. Aside from the odd hot-chip cravings and having to pick up dog shit in the park, healthy eating and exercising has been a joy.

The thing about this diet is that it is encouraging a very balanced diet, which is not what you can say about other diets. Do I get hungry at night? Yeah, sometimes, but that happens: diet or no diet. Plus, I am getting all my energy from all the veggies and meat I have been consuming, and no carbs conbined with my awe-inspiring caffeine tolerance means that I am getting a very good night's sleep.   

So there you go. I'm a Sundowner, and proud of it.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

So that was it, then.

So that was 2011! What a year it's been. Life is a rollercoaster, enjoy it before you have to trot off and buy ridiculously expensive fairground food.

I look forward to 2012 - graduation year - with excitement and great motivation. I am, after many ups and downs both academically and emotionally, on the home stretch, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That being said, I've had a marvelous 2011 - one of the first years in a long time I have felt truly happy and appreciated.

Four years ago I started this blog out of anger, resentment and boredom, but from there it has blossomed into a much-needed creative outlet and a very small but encouraging hub of readers. I hope that each and every one of you enjoyed a fulfilling 2011 and look forward to the surprises that next year has in store.

Happy New Year!