Saturday, 27 August 2011
Back For Now!

I'm back! For now, that is- my mid-semester break has started so I have a little more extra time for myself. Even though I stayed at home entirely today I felt that it was a productive day- caught up on some TV shows, cleaned my room, got some rest, and of course, READ (well just a few pages, actually).

Remember my previous entry where I talked about contemplating life, and I mentioned that one of my life goals is to travel the world? Today's entry is entirely devoted to that.

I actually do read a couple of travel blogs, and some of them are really interesting to read. Just take a look at this photo I took from this blog A Little Adrift on a trip to rural China.

Really amazing, isn't it? My wish would be to be able to see it for myself one day. There are many different types of travellers, and I happen to be the type who likes to see nature. Granted, I do still enjoy being in cities, and would like to see major cities of the world as well, but it feels so much more relaxing when you're able to disconnect from the world. Just read this interesting piece about taking a digital sabbatical.

I've always wanted to take a road trip through America, like in the movies. I've always wanted to backpack across Europe, like so many other people do. I'd like to travel all the continents, and then I can say for sure that I've seen the world. But of course, I also want to discover hidden gems, like this clip from Around The World For Free:

That show definitely reminds me of a friend of mine who hitchhiked around Malaysia. That's just such an inspirational story that makes you wonder why you complain about trivial matters.

I am almost done. I just have one last clip to show. This was taken recently at Adelaide, and the clip has since been (according to news) used in safety videos.

I realised that I'm less than 2 weeks away from being an adult. Now that's scary.

Have a great weekend!
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Tuesday, 23 August 2011
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You must be wondering, what possessed me to abandon this blog for more than 10 days. In my own defence, I was really preoccupied and only got very little free time now.

But because I've been so busy, sometimes I do wonder why on Earth am I doing this. You know the age old question- life is short, you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, so why not relax and enjoy life while you are able to?

I think it's during times like these that you really do a lot of self-reflection. It is when you ask yourself what your motivations for working yourself mad is, and how long you think you can keep it up. You think about the many people you know who have been hit by sudden illnesses or misfortune and who are unable to continue living the way they did, and you wonder if that will happen to you.

They also say that youth is when you work hard. That's when you still have the creativity and energy to continuously burn the midnight oil and survive. When I hear this the first thing that goes through my head is that 'my biological age must be pretty close to a 30 or 40 year old then'.

We live in a very materialistic world. You are not deemed successful if you haven't earned any significant prize or achievement.

But I do believe that we are slowly turning away from it as well- there is more emphasis on work-life balance now, and just look at all the books on self-help, soul-searching and spirituality.

Cast of the latest season of Survivor- no clue on who are the returning players, though! 

Do you ask yourself that? Do you wonder why you slave over that assignment in uni? Why not just pack your bags and go to a remote village in the middle of a jungle and live there, or even go travelling?

I admit, I do think about those once in a while- and one of my goals in life remains, to this day, being able to travel the world. Not on separate trips, but on one single, long, journey. Originally, my plan was to get a part-time job here and save up to take a gap year after I graduate, but it doesn't look so promising right now, so I'll definitely have to make some changes to those plans.

But I do try to be optimistic. Like they say, all roads lead to Rome. I just need to find it.
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Wednesday, 10 August 2011
8 Days

I've no idea how 8 days passed by so quickly, even though it seems like a month ago since I watched Harry Potter and wrote the last entry. Everything seemed to just have zoomed past; I'd imagine it feels just like when you look out the window of a fast-moving train- things come at you at a blur and you don't really see things, but somehow time passes by and you don't realise what has happened until you reach your destination.

Anyway, considering how I need to get a lot of things done (I'm not sure if I should explain it- majority of my readers already know why I'm so busy lately and it also would seem very narcissistic) I don't have the time to type out a long blog post, so for now, you'll have to bear with me.

Brief updates:

1. Went on a day trip to the Great Ocean Road. This place is called London Bridge, because part of it fell off (that's why I think the name came about, anyway).

2. Been following (or trying to follow, anyway) this show called Around The World For Free. I would not mind doing it, except that I probably would not survive that long!

3. Uni work's been weird this semester. Already I've handed up one assignment and have one due this week.

4. I finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother! I highly recommend this book to everyone, it's a pretty good read. But I'll write up a review later, anyway.

And that's all for now! Till next time!
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Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

As promised, this is my reflection on the last Harry Potter movie.

I think it was definitely one of the best in the series- the actors have gotten comfortable in their roles and got used to working with the same director (who I believe has directed the last 4 movies?), and not to forget the older cast members who are exceptional actors! Having said that, I must say that I expected a little more out of it.

To start with, I thought that it was really smart of them to have a 'previously on Harry Potter' thing going on at the beginning where they refreshed everyone's memories, as even I had not remembered everything, even though it was only half a year ago that the previous movie came out.

I also thought the movie was pretty spectacularly done, overall pretty loyal to the book, and managing to add a couple of humorous scenes as well! I nearly laughed my head off when McGonagall excitedly declare that she had always wanted to use a spell that was a last resort to protect Hogwarts (it wasn't in the book). Snape and McGonagall's duel was definitely one to watch, short as it was but it was nice to see some action coming from the older castmembers.

Having said that, I definitely had expected a little more in some areas- I felt the beginning was too rushed and we just seem to be jumping from scene to scene without any buildup, and a lot of the deeper concepts were made to be shallower. Take for example Harry's 'dream' with Dumbledore. I recall that in the book there was  a whole lot of information about the past- how Harry succeeded, how Voldemort is scared of death, how love is still the most powerful magic in the world. I also would've liked the ending to have been more loyal to the book, that is to say I wished that it was more detailed. There was no mention of Malfoy's son, or Neville's teaching job, or Ted Lupin/Tonks' existence.

Another disappointment was the soundtrack. I believe the famous Harry Potter soundtrack only came up once during the entire movie- during the credits, and that was what made me nostalgic. It made me think about the end of this journey and the fun ride that I've been on.

But this is not about how I miss Harry Potter, it's about the movie. Romance was kept to a minimum, which was good considering how every Hollywood movie needs romance. I liked the buildup to the Ron / Hermione kiss (although I'm told that it was censored in Malaysia- you guys missed out, big time!). I liked the short Harry / Ginny kiss. I liked the Neville / Luna thing (can't remember if it was in the book, though). Oh and speaking of romance, the ending was really funny! I laughed pretty loudly when I saw the adult Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Malfoy.

So- overall, I think the movie was rather good, although I must say I don't think it lived up to the high expectations.
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