Saturday, December 31, 2011

Le betta, Robert

I had been itching for a fish for a while, but never got around to it... until a friend gifted me one - tank, fish, filters and all - on my birthday. It is a crowntail betta; a red body with swabs of blue. He was rather quiet and subdued for a couple of days. I didn't realise that the bubble filter was too strong for the size of the tank, and the human equivalent of his situation is standing in a storm that uprooted trees and flipped tables.

Two days later, I transferred him to a smaller tank that needs no filter. Bettas prefer still water. The next week, I added a plant because I discovered that the bugger sleeps, and leaves seem like a better bed than the stony floor. The same week he was chomping on bloodworms because he didn't like the pellets I gave him.

Turns out, usually bettas are greedy little buggers that eats nonstop, but I guess he wasn't feeling too good from the petshop and from the tsunami waves from the bubble filter. The environment and bloodworms gave him the boost that he needed, and after the second feeding, he became super gungho for pellets as well. And much more active and flaring up and building bubble nests.

Oh, I intended to write on how he amuses me when it's his feeding time. Nothing like a long-winded intro to start it off. You see, his aim is sort of wonky. With bloodworms, he's pretty accurate, but not so for the pellets. I'd drop in a pellet and he will friggin' LUNGE at it.

And miss it totally. Then you'd see him all like, "What? Where that at???" with the pellet directly on top of his head. Then he will back up and eat it. Total fail la, but tickles me nonetheless.

Friday, December 30, 2011


He started, "It's just one of those Hollywood films that is, you know..." *slight pause*

"... the sort that is a weak story that looks good?" I continued.

He sighed. "Look, let me finish my sentence."

Oh. Scratch 'continued' then.

She added, "Yea, I want to listen to what he has to say."

Yea, I got it the first time round. Double combo punch kinda hurts. I'm not entirely sure if it's my ego that was shaken or something else. Either way, a really interesting observation; the knowing that the same 'courtesy' would not be extended to me :). I suppose I was a little taken back as it was a casual chat, plus, it's not like I've been saying much. It wasn't an assertion of my opinion over his, but it was an agreement. At least that is the intention, but also a presumption as it's a common complaint about Hollywood films now.

Oh, the inner fight to not be childish about that. It's okay though. I'll just learn from it. Good to watch myself too. I wonder if I do that often; interjecting or presuming.

As for the feeling? Shrug and let it go.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gemma Ward

During lunch today, my colleagues and I were talking about models; ANTM, what defines beauty, why some stay and some goes, how gender affects their pay (except maybe for this gender bending model... Andrej Pejic perhaps.) and other really casual comments/observations etc. 

Halfway into it, I was reminded of a doll-like model who was all the rage a couple of years back. Fashion designers and insiders raved about her fragile, ethereal looks; wide-set clear blue eyes, cute subtle eyebags, porcelain skin without blemish, gentle alluring lips, a long fragile neck and a delicate yet defined facial structure. If I recall right, she was the look of the moment. She rose really fast and reached pretty high within the industry, and looked as though she might be among those that is immortalised in this fickle industry. Her name, Gemma Ward, was a household name for high fashion lovers.

Anyway, my colleagues didn't know who she was. So I googled her up so I could show them. It has been a couple of years since my interest in the industry, and I had not kept up with the news. To my surprise, she has pretty much left the fashion industry.

To sum up from an article, at the height of her fame, she missed out on a couple of shows to be a part of a movie and it was also the same year that she gained a little weight. Still thin, but significant enough in the fashion world for them to take notice. Clients would pass over booking her and people talk. 
Ward's new body most likely marked "her natural point. A woman's metabolism changes in her twenties. Maybe trying to stay in a business where a size zero is the norm was too much for her, and not worth the sacrifice." In the insulated fashion world, "we have a collective body dysmorphia, where we don't even know what normal is anymore, where a size 6 or 8 is overweight for a model."
Gemma Ward's sister, Sophie—a 24-year-old writer and former model—summed up the harsh realities of the business and how they had affected her sibling's psyche. In November 2008, Sophie wrote of the early days of Ward's career, when she was outwardly at the top of her game: "She came home every now and then, always for Christmas, sometimes in between, and I kept my head down trying to pretend my little sister wasn't being slaughtered internally by an external industry." (Emphasis mine)

It is a brutal industry, and Ward would not be an exception. She began to retreat from the spotlight, and not too long after (in less than a year), a friend of hers, Heath Ledger, who was a support to her, died suddenly. She did less and less shows, before embarking on a 3-year sojourn from the spotlight.

"I realize you can't please everyone," Ward said. "Sometimes when people are constantly wanting the fantasy or the illusion, you have to break it to them that it's not real."
According to a separate interview, her break from the media spotlight was spurred on by Ledger's death. In regards to her career:
In terms of me shying away from modelling, I'd like to clarify in some way that I was taking a break from many things in my life and obviously what people in the public see is that I'm pulling away from what is more 'public'. I didn't know how long it would take, I didn't know if it would solve anything, but I set out to really focus inside myself.

Yes, I'm fascinated. Here is someone plucked out of school at 14, became the darling of the industry, and within a short period of time, thrown aside. In a way, I'm glad that she knows when to step away, or at least, things happen that makes you rethink things. For the latter, I think death does that. It jars you and reminds you that your end will come, and those indulgence in outwards things may seem less appealing that it used to be. And maybe in Ward's case, that fashion caught her in a nonstop whirlwind since she was 14 and what she said in the previous quote brought her down to earth for me; that she is searching, that it is important to take a step back and just look at your life. Truly. We all have a perception of her, and when she didn't fit that look anymore, it shatters it. Perhaps, it shattered for her too. Where does she stand then? Who is she?

That's when people take a step back from the glitter and outward labels, and try to figure out who they really are.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good morning, Thursday

There used to be 3 of us walking to the office. Reduced to 2 and finally, 1.

Things change; they always do. :)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Writer's block

Someone from my office told me that I should write. Saying that I had a way with explaining things.

The old reaction would be to puff up my chest and give myself a inward pat on the back, but the current me thinks instead, "He doesn't know me. He sees me as someone I'm not." I seem to disappoint people because I wasn't what they thought I was, and I don't like it.

So I told him that I'm just passing stuff I've read, which is true. And then wondered if it's rude to deny someone's perception/judgment of me, even if I feel it is perceived.

I didn't tell him that I do have a blog because it is barely updated of the me now. Somehow the incident got me thinking about a couple of things... While I did find it hard to write before, somehow I feel like the topics that I choose to want to write now has me stuck. It's as though I have in my hand a grain of sand, which I know that it's part of a beach.

How could one adequately explain the grain as a standalone? How could I do this piece justice, without seeing where it came from and its role? It could be from judging a teenage mother harshly by just seeing her pregnant, when perhaps in truth, she had been raped and decided to keep the child, or supporting a invasion without properly looking at the history and the true intentions (I refuse to be a pawn in a game that is made for people to fall for!). So much understanding and richness of events are lost in the process.

Another is, what I knew is in shambles. And as a student of life, I hesitate when answering. I doubt, I question. Erase my essay and open a book. Or most likely, abandoning it.

The sombre, serious feeling will balance up soon. I mean, put a jokey person to learn tightrope walking, she'd be concentrating like crazy and be super tensed. Give it time; her shoulders will relax and her smile will appear again. So will the playfulness and the jokes (albeit lame). The latter, to the horror of her friends =P.