I will leave out rules and go straight to the thoughtful questions (haha but way mundane whatever goes replies my side. It’s late yet I want to see how my mind still comes up with thoughts? or semblance of them.)
1. Name and elaborate on one of the most influential figures in your life.
I am most influenced by colorful figures in my daily life, in my line of work, fighting their own epic personal battles, I see them making the world a better place without aware or a wink about it and insanely worship them. How can I not worship my folks and my grandparents and generations before them of what unspeakable hardship their persevered, as Chinese, as women, through the wars, through being a young girl raped by a rich boy and thus bearing my greatgrandpa…through being an orphan and almost sold to slavery building the First Transcontinental Railroad and his greatgranddaughter/me is living miles from it?! Just so I can breathe the air that is rusting the rails?! It could be a gentleman in his 90s bringing his wife with severe depression and dementia a red rose a day, to put a smile on himself, really, to fondly remember how much joy it was for him to spent his week’s wage for their first date with a red rose. Lately it is my younger cousin who opened a bar/art gallery/music venue after years of working extreme hard and pouring his every penny in, where he dedicates most of the profits to promote new artists for the local art and music scene. He also makes the best handsalves from lavender he grows himself no money can buy for us all in care packages every few months. This is human sweetness and love I witness in my otherwise very boring life I wish I can pay forward.
2.What are the countries that you would love to visit to if you get the chance to explore the world? Why?
Brazil. Amazon. Rainforest. Patagonia. Antarctica. New Zealand. I am most interested in a place at the brink of socioeconomic shift and still have a wilderness, I think Brazil is the country. And pushing myself physically when I am born and bred wimpy town mouse super klutzy opposite of Bear Grylls to experience nature without the modern trapping is my kind of ScrewYou!Mookie thus rejuvenation.
3. What is your favourite book? Why?
Dream of Red Chambers. Mostly for the sheer beauty of prose and the decadence of my (lost) heritage. Many Chinese scholars regard Song as the epiphany of Chinese cultural enlightenment and the most sophisticated existance for Han Chinese living in the relative tolerance and understanding of the glorious cultures in its neighboring countries in all of middle kingdom’s history…and Dream of Red Chambers is a laborious romanticized historical record of that very last dying breath of my civilization dwindling down to savagery through Yuan, Ming then Qing.
Farewell My Concubine, Li PikWah. I was 10, it was beyond my years. Child labor, blood, tears, slavery, brutal work ethics, sodomy, love between 2 humans regardless of sex, tenacity to survive when the human will and spirit is a fragile puff of opium mist, all subjects I have never known existed in human existence. First time I’ve heard of Cultural Revolution, ever. And the family stories I plodded, very watered down, haunts me forever. She is still the only writer that hit that tiniest spot in my id, her prose, her snark with a subliminal beautiful wickedness, I want to grow up to be her. I used to retrieve her quotes from memory to practice my horrible calligraphy when I was bored senseless being grounded and my Mother would be so cruel to take all my novels from me and leave me with literally blank paper and thought the asceticism is a meditation. Perhaps I should pick up the delightful habit: a douban compilation of her snarky cutting lines.
4. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In lifelong self-hypnotism of I am 12 and I am ‘overachieving’ hahaha. Balancing life with 2 ends of the world I call home(s): One where it’s getting more scarily foreign yet I can never sever ties being born into (Hong Kong) and the other life and fate has picked and chosen to lay my roots. I savor constants, just stay: People, health, the saging of my face, my weight, worldly possessions…I am not asking much am I?!?! hahaha
5. Name your favourite genre of music (it can be more than one) and elaborate a little on your favourite artists.
Anything under the umbrella of Jazz and Blues. Billie Holiday in particular. It was the music to my favorite memory of the senses of my folks much younger and would dance and hum while teaching their babies mahjong and the naivete of childhood enjoying life’s simple annoyances like a torrid monsoon.
6. What are the traits found in your siblings that you wish you could have too?
His way with people and words. He has a calmness and resolve that can anchor, very easy to be with, and from my observation effortless on his part. He is a miser with words but when he speaks, it is with a bit of voodoo that can connect and be effectively soothing, comforting, funny, silly, smug and persuasive, all in a balance, right for the mood, the occasion, quotable nuggets of unoffensiveness that I must’ve been caught by him flabbergasted in awe. He can crack my folks up with a passing nonsense when I can never. I do not get his respect at all growing up even though he is quite a few years younger, but he doesn’t mind, or I should say gotten terribly used to my pestering through his miserable childhood and now adulthood.
7. What prompted you to create your blog? Briefly elaborate on it.
I can be soo long-winded I have consciously told myself to shut up, in vain, overstayed my welcome, have been ignored by all the dear ones in RL in the middle of my speeches, often. That is obvious from my every post. I had babbled on and on on myself to my 親愛的 who happens to find me. The first adjective attached to me, was from my class mistress. It was the word withdrawn when I was five years old, written in my report card as her read on my temperament. To say my Mommy was irate on what was written about her daughter when she thought it was far from truth was an understatement. I recalled a feisty sparring of words like an episode of Zhen Huan and fake niceties at the private meeting my Mom arranged with Headmistress and Teacher, and I was in toll. Tbh, many years later, I can not think of a better word describing me, not strictly the oxford dictionary definition but I find it not the easiest thing still to express myself when I can be so easily distracted and running wild tangents 24/7 putting things legibly in words. They just spill out uncontrollably faster than my mind can organize them. As a child, I recall often the timing was off when the conversation steered to a topic I was not interested in delving into that exact instant and I could not help but wander. A pediatrician once diagnosed me as mildly autistic. Ha. The style of my babbling and spazzing is very telling and that is with ample editing. What I like about blogging (and before that and still… writing a diary) is I can jolt down whatever fancying my mind that spur of magical moment my brain is having a storm, a party, and it is retrievable for me or in this medium if some soul from anywhere and everywhere is interested in having a word.
I am still in touch with the teacher whom I still regard as the wisest seer I fangirl.
8. Why did you nominate the blogs that you nominate?
Frankly I have not been reading blogs habitually. This end of blogging is all I can manage. If anyone reading this, mind introducing me to interesting reads?! PLEASE?
9. What are the lessons that you’ve taken away from year 2013?
2013 is rougher than 2012, and I am still numb by how much life has been tougher on me in hindsight…but I have settled in this new normal. Two of my dear friends have left my side and now laughing at my wimpiness in heaven I am sure. Call it midlife crisis or whatever label, I got tired of dealing with emotions and sick of the whole business of grieving and the neverending-ness of it, that constant reminder of mortality is not cheery. IT is faster than the speed of light when we gather to skip class for karaoke, group dates with boys, weddings, baby showers, kids birthdays…now funeral(S)?! WTF life?! Once I have accepted it, it’s not that bad, but it will never be the same good. I’ve learned to sulk less about RL and just live it and still enjoy my escapades like fangirling. I have learned to work harder at enjoying simpler things in life. A pretty face. A ‘thank you’. A weedflower in bloom. The crunch of a potato chip. The steam of rice giving me a briefest minifacial as I take the first bite into bowl. Grandpa giving me a smile, shaking my hand as a nice stranger, not remembering my face, nor grandma’s, but he still smiles like he always smiles. Everything can change but nothing has to.
10. Tell us about your favourite things about blogging.
I have a little virtual treasure trove to keep forever, where I can quantify a fleeting most trivial emotion or a silly thought. Especially putting emotions into words… once we’ve ‘feeled’ it is never the same, we do not stay ecstatic forever, nor can we weep till the end of time. The somewhat remoteness of the anonymity allow me all the shouting and yelping and the bitching without abandon. I have my own purging tree hole at Angkor Wut right, squarely, here.