Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"...the sovereignty of me over me is called Liberty.....the law is nothing but the protection of all men based on the rights of each, and the equivalent sacrifice that all men make is called Equality. The protection of all men by every man is Fraternity, and the point at which all these sovereignties intersect is called Society. " 

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables 


Thursday, February 4, 2016

New acquisitions - second chance books from BooksActually. Didn't exactly find the titles I wanted but well, better luck next time. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I just feel so anxious to finish les miserables. It's a great book but way too long, that I find myself scanning through words sometimes just coz I wanna be reading other books already. A terrible habit, not being able to keep to one thing for long. I'm glad I'm only left with a quarter of the book to go... Although there is still a whole pile of unread books on my shelves, I feel the urge to go out and purchase these books:

Mud sweat and tears 
Ex libris 
Wrinkle in time 
The Martian 
Go set a watchman 
Look who's back
Odyssey 
Ulysses 
In search of lost time
The book thief 
The Little Paris Bookshop and The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, 
The last bookstore in America 

Surely the list is longer than this but I had forgotten to note down the titles and so they have vanished from my mind.... I wish sometimes that I have photographic memory. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

The balloon

Little Melody went to the fair. It was a wonderful place, littered with Viking ships, roller-coasters, giant Ferris wheel, carnival games, cotton candy, juggling clowns, and beautiful balloons. It was a cool and breezy summer day, the heat wave had just passed, and the days were pushing languidly towards autumn. 
Little Melody was thrilled. She loved rides- the ones where she got to scream her lungs out and feel the blood rush to her head, she loved carnival games-the ones where she threw bean bags at milk bottles and shot at revolving balloons, and most of all, she loved the sweet cloud-like feel of cotton candy on her tongue. 
She held grandpa's hand loosely as she skipped around the fair, trying to decide where to start her fun. A clown with a humongous red nose and shoes walked past little Melody, he was carrying a bunch of glossy red balloons. Little Melody gazed greedily at the balloon. She loved balloons, especially the red ones. The clown smiled at her, and with a flick of his hand, plucked a single red balloon out from the bunch and placed it in little Melody's tiny hand. Little Melody smiled shyly at the clown, mumbled a quiet thank you, and held on tightly to the red balloon. She was afraid the balloon would fly away if she loosened her grip for a second. 
With the balloon in one hand, little Melody walked to the carnival games section, wanting to try her luck at winning a teddy bear.
"5 shots for a dollar!" said the man at the air gun booth. Little Melody searched her pockets for 4 quarters with her left hand, as her right was still gripping tightly to her red balloon. She found the money, picked up the gun and shot at the revolving balloons. She missed all the balloons. She couldn't aim the gun properly with just one hand. little Melody was sore at not winning anything but decided that she would much prefer to take a heart-dropping roller coaster ride than try her hands at silly carnival games. She ran to the queue of the roller coaster but was told by the ticket master than she could not bring the balloon with her if she were to go on the ride. Little Melody made a face and looked as if she was going to cry. She walked out of the queue. She could not leave her balloon behind, not even if it was in the care of grandpa. 
"Who cares for roller coaster rides anyway?" 
At 7:23pm the sun turned amber and painted the fair in a soft, lazy orange glow. By this time, little Melody's sadness had grown to a monstrous proportion. She had been rejected from entering all the rides, she couldn't play the carnival games properly with one hand, her right arm was sore, and her palms were red and angry from gripping the balloon too tightly.
Grandpa and little Melody sat on a wooden bench and little Melody began to cry. Her day at the fair was ruined and she did not have any fun at all but she couldn't let go of the balloon, because it was hers and she loved it. 
Grandpa looked kindly at little Melody. 
"You know sometimes, we have to let go of the things we love, no matter how hard it is. The harder you hold on to something that is not meant to be held, you lose a bit of yourself and then one day, without you knowing it, all of your joy will be devoured. All that will be left then is sadness, emptiness, and a longing of what could have been."
Little Melody looked at grandpa with tears still glistening in her wide blue eyes. 
"I must let balloon go?" She asked. 
Grandpa nodded gently. 
"You will be free to enjoy all the things you love at the fair. Moreover, a balloon is not meant to be tied to anyone's hands. You know what I think? Balloons are at their best when they are flying high above the clouds." Grandpa winked at little Melody as he said this. 
Little melody understood then that one cannot hold on too tightly to anything in this world. One has to learn to let go, even if the heart aches a little at first. 
She loosened her grip on the red balloon,  its string brushed gently across her little palms and the balloon floated slowly into the dusty pink and orange skies. 
Little melody watched the balloon fly higher and higher. Her heart felt a tinge of sadness and joy, joy because the balloon did look like it belonged to the skies, joy because she was now free to enjoy the fair and She no longer had to fear losing the balloon. 
With a leap and a skip, little Melody and grandpa walked hand in hand towards the wonders of the fair. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The tongue

The tongue is a wretchful thing. Sometimes people justify their malevolent words by saying that they are only being straightforward and honest.
Really? 
I wonder if there might be a tinge of selfishness and meanness to such behavior.
We have to question the real motive behind our "honesty" sometimes.
Is the intention of our brutal honesty for the good of the person? If that is the case, then yes, I think one should be direct and point out a person's misdoing.
Or do we say something negative to someone just because we feel like it and because we think that being straightforward is a commendable trait and we want to be able to pat ourselves on the back for it? 
If your words are meant to bring a person down, then keep them to yourself. 
If we could endeavor to say only words meant to lift a person up, I guess the world may be a better place to be in. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Demise of CNY

It's funny how people never stay in one place...the cousin and I were talking about the upcoming CNY and we realized that things are never going to be the same as they were in the past. Our place used to be filled to the brim with people during cny and all the cousins had fun together. And then we grew up, misunderstandings arose, and we grew apart. People harbor bitterness, anger, pride, unwillingness to forgive and forget, embarrassment over what you think people would think of you...relationships become more complicated as we grow older. I think things really started to fray when grandma passed away. I guess when they say "家有一老如有一宝“,it is true Coz the elderlies tend to be the pillars of support that hold a family together. We were wondering if CNY will just cease to happen for future generations if no one makes the effort to preserve it. Probably it will just die in our hands. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Eating habits

I've never really paid attention to how people eat, only to their speed of eating. I've also never really noticed how I eat. I've been told recently that I tend to assemble my food so that each mouthful has a bit of everything. I thought everyone does that?! 
I think I do this especially when it comes to noodle soup/ramen. 
Wouldn't it be a bit plain if you eat the noodles on its own without the accompaniment of say, a piece of charsiew and some vegetables? 
I had beef noodles yesterday and my ensemble went like this:
Kway teow, broth, beef slice/ball, chilli padi, basil, and onion. It just doesn't taste the same if one item is missing. This is why I always ask for extra basil when I order beef noodles. I think i need to get larger spoons, it can be a little tough sometimes trying to heap so much ingredients onto one tiny spoon. And i also understand now why restaurants always give us ladles for ramen...