Friday, 25 March 2011

Jimmy Eat World, Mousey Eat Liver

*cough* That's a very lame joke by the way, 'eat liver' is an Indonesian saying which basically means 'annoyed'.. It has nothing to do with this post, I just thought I'd share the very lame joke which I keep putting up because.. Drum roll please!


.. Pardon my French, but yes. I'm super excited, because I'm a huge fan. I'm dragging along my evil twin to the gig because he's an awesome guy who said yes when I begged him.

Jimmy Eat World brings about the happy memories of listening to tapes at at a deafening volume, riding my bike after school, angsting over silly teenage things. They stayed with me as I spent nights driving with the music blaring (still at a deafening volume), while I drive through the cold, empty roads in Bandung at night.. Every album has it's own meaning for me, so yes.. I'm just a tiny bit excited.

.. The gig is April 3rd, and my heart has been beating a little faster at seeing them live ever since I first heard that they were coming.

Yes, I'm prone to exaggerating, and being dramatic. See this huge smile -> =D ..? It's 100 times larger in real life.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Dear J,

It's been a couple of months since I last thought of you.

I don't think I ever voiced my thoughts about you to anyone before. But today I feel like the world should hear about a wonderful soul that left way too early.

Do you remember when we first met? I don't. Not really. My memories of you are fading, and you'll never know how much that bothers me. I can't remember your eyes anymore. Were they squinty or wide? They never look right when I try to imagine your face again. If I try really hard, I think I can remember the sound of your voice, calling my name. I always thought you were a late bloomer because your voice hadn't fully broke yet, but there were hints of how your voice would sound when you laughed.

You know, one of the best memories I have with you is of you, me and Rhesa laughing because all three of us were failing both Maths AND Physics. Remember how we had competitions on who'd get the best score on quizzes? And how we never passed a quiz, yet there was always a clear winner.. That was fun! I don't remember how you reacted when I said that I was dating Rhesa, but I can still remember your huge grin when you smiled and said "he still REALLY likes you!" when we broke up sometime after.

I can still see your hair. That's weird, right? That I can still clearly see that hair, when it frustrates me that I can't remember much else about your appearance other that your lips and hair. Your semi-mohawk. Not because you were trying to be cool, you didn't even do it deliberately! Your hair just grew weird like that.

But seriously, I miss the way you laughed.

My memories of you in our first year of high school is filled with laughter and high fives and those few weeks that you first dissappeared. Did I try calling you? Did I text you? I don't remember anymore. But you were suddenly gone, and no one knew where you went. I must have looked for you, right? I must have..??? Because school was weird without you. And you know I don't get along with the girls in our class. You disappeared sometime before the epic fight between me and the girls happened. It was.. funny. You would have enjoyed it, I think.

I'm sorry that I wasn't really around for you when you came back. But I just didn't understand. And you were in a different class. And you kept disappearing again. I remember people talking about you. How they didn't like it that you kept disappearing in the middle of a week-long group assignment. I tried telling them that you were always responsible and that you wouldn't have left without a good reason. And I always looked forward to seeing you permanently-covered head bobbing past my classroom doors.

I wondered about your hats. And your sudden weight gain, but we were in high school, and people's physical appearance changed fast. I wondered, and I know you tried to tell me once.. I'm sorry I didn't listen. When you said "Hey you know last night's Julia Roberts movie? Dying Young?", I knew instantly, I wanted so badly to un-hear it. I was f*cking scared. I didn't let you finish and we spoke about classes instead.

I'm sorry I walked away before I could hug you.

I'm sorry I'm such a shitty friend.

Some stuff went down that year. And I left Bandung. I never got to see you again, and that will always be one of my biggest regrets.

Hey J.. I was devastated when someone casually mentioned you had passed away. She went to your church, and she said you got sick again. I don't remember how I reacted to the news, but I remember how I cried that night. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. You deserve a better friend.

Do you know I still think of you? Every few months. And I wonder what you would have become had your cancer gone into remission. I think you would have gone into IT or something related to computers. I don't know why, as I don't even remember if you were any good with computers. We wouldn't be in regular contact, because you know what I'm like.. But we'd drop each other lines from time to time. I imagine you would have grown into your thick, pouty lips, and your strange semi-mohawk. Your laughter would be loud and joyful, and that grin.. That grin of yours that lit up the room, it would have gotten you a really cute girlfriend. That much I'm sure.

I think of you at the strangest time.. like when I'm driving to work.. and always there's a pang, and a flashback of you laughing. Of all the things I'll forget in the coming years, I hope your laughter wont be one of them.

So J, I hope that somewhere out there you feel loved. You still have people that care, who think of you from time to time. The world lost out on a lot when you went.

Much love,

Monday, 7 March 2011

My life in books: How it all started.

Yesterday I read a fantastic book. It was.. amazing. I'll talk about that one another day, as it deserves some special attention. It had many fantastic passages, and so many lovely tid-bits to quote, but one that made me think was this tiny bit about people never forgetting That First Book.

You know - the one that started it all. That got you thinking that this reading lark is fun. It mentioned that you'll never forget that book, and it got me thinking about my very own First Book, and how I could mark out my life, in books. So this will be the first of many posts about books, and what they mean to me.

I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I remember rushing home to read Donald Duck comics under a shady tree, or sneaking into my brother's room to grab his copy of STOP, and Archie comics, and reading encyclopedias by torch light (I know. Geek.).. But my First Book was this little gem:

Jacqueline Wilson's The Suitcase Kid.

It was the start of winter, the year was 1994, and I was 8 years old, estranged in this wonderful new place, with lots of pale kids running around. My perma-Asian-tan was a novelty, and so was my accent. It was Reading Time, and since I didn't have a book with me, I was given a trip to the library and this was the first of many books I would borrow from the school.

I don't remember who recommended it to me.. Was it Amy or Hazel (my first friends at St. Sid's!) or was it the lady helping out at the library? Either way, magic happened the moment I sat down in my little plastic chair in front of Mrs. Bushin's table. I picked it up and was immediately thrown into Andy's world. A child of divorce, Andrea (ANDY!) bounced from one home to another, dealing with step-siblings and strange family dynamics. The book is divided quaintly into 26 chapters, each starting with a letter from the alphabet.. A is for.. B is for.. etc. And I couldn't get enough.

My own parents were happily married, so I couldn't possible understand what this girl was going through.. But as long as I had that book in my hand, I felt like I knew exactly what she was feeling, and I was her friend.

The book had given the key to this whole other world, and upon finishing the book, I couldn't wait to get another chance to visit the library. If I liked reading before, I was positively in love with it after this book. It's not 'the best children's book EVER WRITTEN!!one!11!one!!', but it was one that opened my eyes to this whole other world where literally anything could happen.

I don't think I realized the significance this book would hold in my life, but looking back now.. The stuff I read before were probably not age/reading-ability-appropriate, and so I couldn't digest it as well as I could Ms. Wilson's book. And revisiting my old haunts now, I still love them very much, but The Suitcase Kid has a Very Special place in my heart as my First Book.

After Ms. Wilson, there was Mr. Dahl, Mr. Lewis, and Ms. Smith to occupy my time, and after that there was a whole brigade of authors, but The Suitcase Kid had been my key to the world of words. And I'll be forever grateful.

And I have to ask - what was yours???

.. to be continued .. :)