Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"But I tagged you in Facebook..."

I get it. Social media is the best thing since doughnuts. But for a long time coming, I have a bone to pick with Facebook. And if you really think about it, it's not even Facebook's fault. It's the faces behind Facebook. It's the human element. The people. The 'friends'.

Not all friends, mind you. Just 90 percent of them. I signed up back in 2007, not realising my naivete would be my own peril. Photo tagging, all that banter back and forth over a status message, throwing digital livestock at people and even slapping them with trout. Ah, the good ol' days.

Fast forward to 2012 and how I long for the days before I had any association with the F word. These days I log in, scroll the 'Home' page and sigh. Do we not have enough drama in our REAL day to day lives than to stir up monkey shit in cyberspace? People complaining and venting and bitching and whining and, of course, no names are ever mentioned. It's always SOMEbody or SOME people. Which then causes 178 people on your friends list to go, "Shit, is it me? Did I piss her off lately? Must be me. Bitch."  And what's with the updates every 5 minutes?

1:00pm - "The paint on my wall is drying."
1:05pm - "The paint on my wall is STILL drying."
1:10pm - "The paint on my wall is drying super slow."
1:15pm - "I'm watching paint dry. FML."

I could go on and on about Facebook but I also know I'm starting to look like a happy little hypocrite because I, of course, have my own FB account. I will not argue that FB has done me some good - I've kept in touch with people from my college and uni days, made valuable contacts and know whether my exes are have either put on immense weight or married far uglier people than me. However, as of late, it has become more of a bane than a boon. Suddenly, people EXPECT you to log onto Facebook at every waking moment. Important messages, invites and announcements are all posted solely on Facebook and this has become the accepted norm.

Back the fucking social media wagon up one second.

First of all, in what planet do you think EVERYONE has a Facebook account? It's like, "Oh you don't have any kidneys and you're missing a toe, that's ok but OMG YOU DON'T HAVE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT?!?!" Seriously. And even if I do have an account, what makes you think that would be my top choice of keeping updated with the on-goings of the world? Before FB, there were carrier pigeons, smoke signals and -my favourite- the phone. Holy shit, would you look at that - the phone STILL exists! I cannot tell you how many times I have had to tell people to call or even text me fortheloveofgod for anything that needs my immediate attention. "But I tagged you in Facebook..." comes the lame reply.


Facebook, you and I have had some good times. And although I know we won't be parting ways anytime soon, I just want you to know,  the fire's gone. We'll always have Twitter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Excuses, excuses.

Today this landed on my lap. And it resonated so deeply because I began to think of the countless times I made (or make) excuses. Especially when it mattered most. So I began to focus: What is important to me? What do I need to stop making excuses for? 

1. Writing
I keep calling myself a 'writer'. And half the time I complain about what I have to write about (Another brochure.Another website. Another "With its rolling hills and sprawling green fields, Camp Shootmenow is a nature lovers' paradise and ideal for skinny dipping"). So yes, I have to write to make ends meet, and while I don't feel challenged creatively, I am still grateful for being able to say "I write for a living." Not the kind of living Paulo Coelho or JK Rowling might enjoy but still, enough to buy a loaf of bread. Ok, two loaves. And peanut butter (mmm peanut butter. Ok focus). My point is, I keep talking about getting published. Like, SERIOUSLY published, not published for an article that appeared in a publication that is probably being used to line someone's kitty litter box right now. And yet, every freakin' day I find a way to sabotage my 'writing to get published' projects. Excuses include:  I have deadlines to meet for a difficult client. I have period cramps. I have to organise my spice rack. I'm sooooo tired from yesterday's emceeing gig, I need my rest today. I have a headache. I have no inspiration. I just got my manicure done.

So gloriously lame.

But yes, I have a shitload of excuses. So does it mean my writing is not important to me? Blasphemy thy name is Melissa! Of course not. Writing is my air. It's the only half-decent thing I can do and make a living out of. Goddamn it woman, then put everything else on hold and do what matters most. Write. That. Damn. Book.

2. Losing weight Keeping fit.
Initially, I started off with the grand idea of losing a few dress sizes. When I realised my boobs weren't going anywhere or that my waist wasn't suddenly going 'Barbie' itself overnight, I knew I had to live with the fact that I will never be skinny, lithe, lanky, swan-like, androgynous (ok, not that I find this body-type appealing anyway) etc. I will be the 5-foot apple-shaped Asian girl with a nice bust, not much ass and high waist forever. HOWEVER, I can be a very toned and fit 5-foot apple-shaped Asian girl with a nice bust, not much ass and high waist, no? I wanted to be strong, not skinny.  Again, I have a problem sticking to this resolution. With enough years of Gym On and Gym Off to make Mr, Miyagi proud, I'm still struggling with finding that discipline to work out consistently. And why? Because I make excuses. I run for three weeks and then decide my ankle is bugging me so I stop. I sign up for the gym and then after my miscarriage, I decide my body really 'needs the rest' (alright, maybe for the first couple of weeks but again, I let this stretch into months). Excuses. And I wonder why I can't seem to squeeze back into my favourite pair of jeans? Someone bitch-slap me with a smelly sock right now.

Writing and getting back into shape: THESE are important to me right now. No excuse is going to convince me otherwise.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Funny Valentine

Valentine's day rolled in and out with a casualty on my part, so that's a good sign.

The flowers, the cards, the declaration of love, the hand-holding, the hearts EVERYwhere. In my 30+ years, I have always found it difficult to get excited about Valentine's Day. And this from someone who cried incessantly over The Notebook.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-Valentine's day nor do I think love is overrated. I just cannot apply myself to the grandeur and commercialism of Valentine's day. In college, I hardly celebrated it with my significant other because I was either home for the holidays every February (I studied in KL, I live in KK) or it was just too heavy on the wallet for college students who were surviving on their monthly allowance. Plus, I had much rather spend that money on a good pair of shoes.

In my working years, it was never a huge occassion - either due to circumstance (work, travel, single) or budgetary constraints (ehem. The economy was bad). Still, it never mattered to me. And THAT baffles me. I'm a romantic at heart, I love a good romantic comedy even if it involves J.Lo and am a complete sucker for happy endings. So why doesn't Valentine's day make me want to declare my love while running naked in the streets? First of all, that might even be illegal. But the more I think about it, I think it's because I refuse to be TOLD that love in all its forms and glory must manifest itself in overpriced meals, flowers, chocolate and grand gestures in just one day a year.

Ironically, the romantic in me believes I should have the luxury of love and all that jazz 365 days a year. Why do I need to wait for that one particular day? And why put all that pressure on the guy too? I cannot imagine how many men have been rushed to the hospital for sudden increased blood pressure or injuries due to grievous bodily harm on Valentine's Day for not bringing their partners to the right restaurant, buying the right amount of flowers or - the kicker - proposing with a blinger. Before I get hate mail by women saying, "Hey we're not all that bad you know", let me say that I'm not finger-pointing or suddenly playing for the other team. I'm just saying thanks to the commercialized hoopla of Valentine's Day, expectations can be inevitably raised so try to cut your partner some slack. That restaurant, those flowers and the proposal are equally important any other time of the year. If he fulfills the criteria of a 'perfect' Valentine's Day, then by all means enjoy it, bask in it and soak in every rose petal moment. But remember, it's how your relationship pans out for the other 364 days that matter. 

But if he forgets my birthday, there will be hell to pay.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Me Peanut. Me fly.

So we thought we built a fence high enough so the dogs wouldn't go to the back. Obviously we underestimated Peanut.


                                                     Mocha:'d he do that???