The long-term benefits of sunscreen ;)

This is something that always cheers me up, and it's about time I posted it. Bazz Luhrmann had it down right :)

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...

The fine line between fact and fiction

I think re-immersing myself into the world of fiction has left me with lofty aspirations and optimism about life, and I find that I have to keep reminding myself of the stark difference that reality offers. Not that there's anything wrong with reality (well ok, there are a few things here and there :p), but just that life in a storybook borders on perfect and ideal; there's the ideal marriage, the perfect guy, the best job, the fancy house and car, and the adorable kids (i'm skipping the brutal murders and serial killers :p). I'm at the last couple of chapters of the Prodigal Daughter, and its had the same effect on me that Kane and Abel had: I've gotten attached to the characters and entered their realm of life.
I think its sort of an escape, into the life of someone else that you would like to experience for a while before you get back to your seemingly mundane one. Suspense/thrillers, mysteries, crime fiction and classics have the same effect- books like Along came a Spider, A time to kill, Post Mortem, The second time around, etc. had me rooted to the spot, wondering what I would've done if it was me in the book, and guessing wildly how the story would end.
There's just something about books that movies just don't quite match up to. I think the reading experience as a whole has something to do with it.
If only life were a little closer to that in the storybooks... *sigh* I'm pretty sure we'd still find something to complain about though ;)

I feel old.

I also feel emotionally drained and very very tired. I think this past year and everything that's happened is finally taking its toll on me.
In the few months after graduation, I think I grew up a lot more than I have in the last 4 years. It was a series of changes and big steps in a very short time, and I don't think I had time to take it all in and process everything. But things worked out pretty well, and I'm grateful for that. But I don't think I've completely recovered yet, or I just haven't had the time to.
A couple of good things came out if though. I think I've toughened up a bit :p A few harsh lessons of what happens when you care too much about things and people did the trick. So even though putting my foot down (albeit still a bit gently) makes me cringe, I think in the long term it causes a lot less distress on my part. Selfish as it sounds, I think its worse being nice to everyone and getting trodden on in the process. You can't always make everyone happy.
The other good thing is that its made me appreciate family and friends a lot more. There are a few people who will stick with you when you're going through hell, and several others who actually contribute to you going through hell, and now I know who both those groups of people are. Its also made me miss home a lot, and realise what I took for granted. By missing home I don't mean physically being back in SL, but rather the comfort and safety of family and knowing someone's always got your back. I'm also truly starting to appreciate how hard it is to be a parent, and if I could do half as good a job as my parents have done, I'd be very proud of myself.
I know this post is bordering on the line of emo, but I'm not thoroughly depressed or anything (yet :p) though the cynics out there are probably thinking I'm in denial (which could be true, but I dont think so :p) I just spent some time thinking about these things over the last couple of days, and needed to put it in down in words.
I think I need a break from life and a nice, long, relaxing holiday... Preferably on a beach with a good book, a shot of rum and some RnB :)

You'll need a cup of coffee for this one...

... because it's a bit long, but worth every minute :) Kudos to my Dad once again :D

For those who like to read ;)

And for those who'd rather listen :)

What is the world coming to? :(

Reading the news these days is depressing. Well news in genenral isn't always the most cheerful I guess (other than during the Olympics :P). Other than maybe the folks in Greenland and the Amazon,everyone else everywhere else seems to be knee deep in problems. Either its bankruptcy or financial 'meltdowns', war, border disputes, genocide, natural disasters, violence and the struggle for power, or disease related death (there are a host of other problems, but the depression caught up again so I'm gonna stop listing them). Maybe us Homo Sapiens have gotten ahead of ourselves and are now dealing with the repercussions... I really hope it improves with time though, the world's too nice a place to fall apart :(
If only 'World peace' was as easy to achieve as Miss World contestants made it sound...

My new found freedom... or lack of it before?

Updates from the world of Amri...

After fighting my way through writers' block, I decided to post a couple of updates, just to remind myself that I have a blog and to keep it from dying completely...

Ever since graduating and starting a job, I've been tailed by insurance schemes, credit card companies and financial planning offers (to my amusement and slight annoyance)... Just this week I met up with a friend who's now a financial consultant and was telling me about the concepts of wealth management and accumulation... Which is what cracks me up :p The main component, the 'wealth', hasn't really started accumulating to be managed in the first place, and second, just b'cos I've started earning doesn't mean I want to immediately get a life insurance cover and start a financial plan for me to save till I'm 60... Fair enough, we've just started earning and therefore are 'prime' candidates for a long term relationship with the company, but a little more breathing space and some time to enjoy the little 'wealth' we have would be nice, and a little less pressure and drama about what would happen to us if we weren't insured and we had an accident and were left disabled :p Anyways people need to do their jobs and I guess this is part of their job....

Onto other happenings, I watched the NUS symphony orchestra last week and will be going for a performance by a drama group at Esplanade tomorrow and a concert by the Piano Ensemble next week :) I love going for these things... I blame it on the 2 years of EMCC that made me an avid arts follower... :p Now that I actually have the time, its pretty amazing how much goes on in Singapore that you don't know about ;) Oooooh and i watched Wall-e! :D He is so adorable :) And Eve kicks ass ;) Its a pretty good movie for one without much dialogue.... I'd recommend you go check it out :)

Next up is Mamma Mia, though I'm not sure I'm gonna watch it at the cinema, its more a Friday night stay in and laze around kinda movie... New seasons of the TV shows are starting/ have started this month too... So I am in a happy place :D Though I really think they should've stopped with Season 2 of Prison Break :p But at least Michael and Linc aren't dead yet so they're nice to look at... ;) I can't wait for House and Heroes to start too...

And I have been shopping! Got myself a couple of goodies, decorated my room (= visited Ikea), Body shopped and window shopped some more till my feet started cramping in protest :p But it was gooood.... I wish I could just buy over Forever 21 and have all those clothes... Same goes for the shoes at Charles and Keith.. *sigh* The best part about having a jeans and t-shirt job is that it doesn't cost much to dress up for work... :) But that also gives me less excuses to invest in all those shoes...

My temporarily forgotten but now-revived loves, books and reading, has been keeping me up at night... I just finished a suspense/thriller called First Lady, which was boring at the beginning but picked up later and made a real nice read... I've just started on the Prodigal Daughter now, which I finally managed to get my hands on.. And Nat has a copy of Kite Runner so I won't have to buy it :) I've been avoiding Borders these past few weeks because the temptation's too great, but I see myself winding up there pretty soon...

The world of Amri doesn't sound too dull huh ;) More updates in a couple of days peeps.. Till then stay happy and go watch Wall-e if you haven't already :)

Little snippets of wisdom and laughter... :)

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
A day without sunshine is like... night.
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
Remember, half the people you know are below average.
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
How many of you believe in psychokinesis?... Raise my hand.
OK... so what's the speed of dark?
When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.
Just remember---if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Forrest Gump was wrong. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

    The darn travel bug...

    I love travelling... Not the long hours of waiting at airports and the actual flying, but the excitement of exploring new places and sightseeing... I've been following the travel logs of a couple of friends, one in Peru, two in Italy, one in Bali and one in New York, and now I'm dying to get out there and see the world :( The irony of the situation is crazy... I get to travel to different places for work, all expenses paid, but I don't get to live the tourist lifestyle and I'm usually on a tight schedule... *sigh* such is life, but I'm not going to complain just yet :) I just wish I lived in Europe or Australia, where travelling around the world is a mandatory part of life :p And I could just backpack around the continent, without having to fly there! Anyways I shall set my sights on making that tour of Europe and Mexico happen one way or the other, I just hope sooner than later! (and once my French is at a decent level :p) Till then, I am gonna envy my buddies and start a travel fund for myself ;) Oh and invest in that camera I've been eyeing for a while now :)

    That elusive thing called happiness

    Lately, in the hours when I am mentally free to wonder about life and all its quirks, I've been visiting the notion of happiness quite a bit.. I guess its b'cos I've been seeing and hearing the unhappy side of people a lot, and I've been trying to analyse myself and find out if I'm really and truly happy (its hard work so I'm still not done :P) I think everyone has their own definition of happiness, and they measure themselves against that definition and rate their happiness accordingly.. The funny thing is that, while its so easy to compare yourself to someone else, rate how 'happy' you are in relation to other people, what makes you so sure that other people are happy? It is b'cos they look/seem happy according to what you define as 'happy'? If you break it down that way, you could be comparing yourself to people you think are happy but may not be, so basically your self rating of happiness is based on someone who may not even be happy! I think I'm talking in circles now... :p

    Moving on to the other questions swirling around, is happiness really a choice? Or is it one of those things that you wake up one day and feel, for no particular reason, but is gone just as quick? Do you make it happen or wait till it sweeps you off your feet?
    As an afterthought, I don't quite like this philosophical version of me that has emerged :s But then as I told a friend the other day, I'm experimenting with the different forms of writing, and I guess my blog is a canvas in that sense... (again, philosophical :p) In account for my renewed learning of the French language, I should probably have a French post too..Haha now there's a thought ;)

    I have returned ;)

    I actually didn't mean to be away for so long, but life happened in the mean time and my glorious return was put on hold a little longer... But anyways, I am back, after quite a terrible couple of weeks which involved me being attacked by some deadly viral flu that left me unable to get out of bed for a good 5 days, taking heaps of pills (and finding out how expensive medical care in Singapore is) and then infecting the peeps at work, which I feel really bad about :( I hope they don't get it as bad as I did :( Honestly this bug was really really bad, I've not been this sick since I was a kid, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy...
    But the first week of September is coming to a close, which means I am finally free to start planning and executing my guilt free shopping sprees for the weeks to come :D I've also neglected quite a few of my friends, though they were very understanding about it, so I shall be seeing them more and catching up over coffee and dinner :) I need to get my room and closet in order, and my life in general I think :P *sigh* so much to do!
    But first, I am gonna continue enjoying my lazy Saturday reading in bed and listening to Jars of Clay while the rest of the world rushes by... :)