Monday, January 30, 2012

Therefore I change.

I need a new suitcase.

 I promised myself this would be a year of inspiration and what better way to be inspired than to travel. The first month of the year has barely passed and I've already booked my flights to Melbourne, Singapore and Sydney so far. Plans could change but I've got to set my gears in motion. I often catch myself saying, "I wish I could, I wish I could...." when in truth I CAN but I sabotage myself before I even try. Let's try to change that, shall we?

So, baby steps. The H and I are off to Singapore first to catch Wicked the Musical. Yes, obviously it was my idea. Singing witches? Check. One of them is green? Check. Do I know most of the songs to musical? Check.
Would've been awesome to see Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda the Good Witch and Idina Menzel as Elphaba but I'm sure the Aussie cast is just as good.

Of course, to be fair, we'll be catching this guy (and his equally amazing band members of course) rock it out at The Padang in Singapore:

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. The H is a big-time Nirvana fan too - so double yay for him to see this man in action. I can't wait. I'll be the chick jumping to Monkey Wrench and swaying to Everlong (our wedding number!)

My bags are packed. Time to rock n roll, 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Living in my head

Sometimes, I find myself trapped in the confinements of the most toxic, uninspiring, fear-filled place I know:

My mind.

The power of thought is amazing. It grips you, frees you, cripples you and makes you imagine the most unimaginable things. This, my friends, is both good and bad. In my mind, I am able to do great things. Like stand on a balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea, dive the depths next to a Manta Ray, huff and puff my way up the Macchu Picchu, perform in front of thousands on Broadway or write an epic novel from a tent in Africa.

The problem is, in my mind, I worry about the death of a loved one, of being alone and unloved, of dying horribly in a plane crash or getting stuck in a massive traffic jam for days and days. Ah yes, the mind is a funny thing.

Most days, these days, I listen to the worries. I live on the edge of Paranoia Street and Panic Avenue. I'm one step away from being the Mayor actually. I'm so contented living in my head that it makes zero sense to take a risk in Reality Land.

I take occasional trips to silver-screen fantasies and fantasy-spun tales of travelers, lovers, witches and monkeys. These places are safe to me. I am in control with a touch of the remote or flip of a page. I can skip to the happy parts, the parts where people are rescued or find enlightenment, and problems are solved after a song and dance.

And then I retreat back to the dimly-lit, damp but cozy corner of my mind. It's probably sunnier out there but for now, I'll just open the windows and enjoy the view from where I am.

Plus, it's rent-free.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Inspire me.

After a combination of caffeine, a 3-hour afternoon 'nap' and plenty of reading, I'm inspired to write about my inspirations at half past midnight.

1. Books - Naturally, a good book - read once, twice, even three times - is a continuous source of inspiration. The way words mingle, mesh, intertwine and effortlessly glide to form a seamless prose never fail to amaze me. I love the storytelling candor of Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, James Patterson, Justin Halpern and, of course...

2. Paolo Coelho - I first fell in love with his words when seredipity brought a copy of 'The Alchemist' into my hands back in 2003. I was a journalist then and during one of my 'man on the street' interviews, I ran into a couple of travellers - an English boy named Hugh and a good-looking German called Philipp (yes, he had two P's at the end of his name). I ended up having coffee with them and quickly became friends. As I said goodbye to Philipp at the airport, he dug into his rucksack and handed me a worn out copy of The Alchemist. I still remember the sand trickling out from between the pages as I flipped through. "It was so nice meeting you. I think you will enjoy this book," he said. And that's how my love affair with Coelho's work began. His book changed my life in so many ways and he continues to inspire me. When I need to make sense of nonsense, I turn to Coelho's books.

3. Tony Fernandes - An unlikely hero so it would seem, especially here on my blog. But love him or hate him, how can you not be inspired by the T-Man? I've gotten to know his story a bit better through documentaries and articles and seriously, you have to admire the sheer determination and relentless drive of the guy. True, his confidence is often read as arrogance but at the end of the day, he's having the last laugh. And like all inspiring success stories, he has seen his share of falls. But I'm always more interested in how they rise. He built his airline empire at the age of 37 with ZERO experience in the airline industry. If you asked him to jump, he won't just say how high. He'll probably add, "I'll skip, tumble and backflip too."

4. Gwen Stefani - I've never been quite the fashionista but I often turn to Gwen Stefani when it comes to couture of the quirky kind. I would NEVER think I have the capability of pulling off the stuff she wears but she completely inspires me to be a bit more daring. Her Galliano wedding gown is my favourite wedding dress of all time. I even wanted to do something similar for my wedding but I could not find any bridal designers who dared to attempt the pink fade-out look at the hem of the skirt. Tsk, wimps. Gwen is my fashion icon. It's not the about the trends or the labels - It's how pulled together she always looks - great hair, face-on and those signature red lips. Even when she's chasing her kids in the park. Now that's the kind of style I always look up to.

5. A great view - How cliched, right? A writer is inspired by a great view. But how true. I can't tell you how many of my favourite articles were written because of a stunning vista. I'm a sucker for the sea and the sound of the ocean waves slamming the shore. A tall glass of mai tai on the side doesn't hurt neither.

6. Richard Branson - Sorry, SIR Richard Branson to you. Forget prime real estate - he bought himself an ISLAND. Another guy who made something out of nothing simply because he dared to try. A man who will draw circles when everyone prefers squares. And he just keeps on going.

7. Katy Perry - I fell in love with this woman the second I heard her. I love unapologetic women because it's something I've aspired to be all my life - and I'm not even halfway there. Her voice is pure magic and her devil-may-care quirkiness makes her even more endearing. Her stage presence is magnetic and her marketing skills, amazing. The first female artiste to have 5 number one singles from one album - rivaling Michael Jackson. I love Katy Perry. And I would never apologize for that.

So, what inspires you?