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For our video production class, we had to film a short meet-cute (a meet-cute is basically a cute and interesting way in which a boy and girl meets). We wrapped up filming already and now it's all post-production, which is where I come in because I was made the editor of my group. But the roles aren't set in stone so all of us in our group just help each other out with our roles. So tomorrow, I'm meeting up with our cameraman, RZ, and our producer, Jia Ying, and they're gonna help me edit the opening titles and credits. Then we'll put it all together.
Here are some photos from our production diary.
[More on my modules...]Tomorrow, I have an individual presentation to make. We had to pick a problem in another country and just talk about it. You know, the background of the problem, the impacts, possible solutions and stuff like that. We were given the assignment right after I'd finished re-reading Tokyo Vice and just when the ban on possession of child pornography in Japan was made. So I decided to tackle child pornography in Japan. I just finished rehearsing my pitch. I finally managed to end it under the time limit, five minutes.
In my Psychology, Philosophy and Society module, my group and I have to create a utopian world. We have to create a brochure of sorts for this world. We have to include the history of this world, an anthem, the benefits, how the government works, how is the economy, what are families like, and many other aspects. After glamourising this utopia of ours, we then have to individually write a 500 word essay on how it's actually a dystopia.
And currently the most pressing and exhausting project is for our Research and Interview Techniques module, where we have to film a 2-minute infotainment on an interesting sport in Singapore. My group and I were given Brazilian Capoeira. Tomorrow, we're heading down to the dance studio in town to check the place out, determine what angles would be good for our video, and take photos for our storyboard. The actual filming and interviews (we have to interview at least three people) will take place next week. It's exhausting because firstly we have to travel out of school to the studio, and secondly because we have to lug all our filming equipment there as well.
And for the class with the most credits... Scriptwriting. Right now, we're working on comedy scripts. We're writing scripts for the Singapore TV show, The Noose (a fake news show that pokes fun at things going on in Singapore), and scripts for comedy skits that take place in polytechnics. It's really difficult because I don't watch local shows or local skits so it's hard for me (and a lot of my classmates too, in fact) to grasp that kind of humour. But if our scripts for The Noose are really good, our lecturer will help us sell it to the producers. $200 for two and a half pages!
Due next Monday is a feature column on any topic of our choice. I'm writing about fat-shaming but once I actually got started on writing the first draft, I realised it was really difficult. Because the tones used in the feature columns our lecturer showed us were really casual and friendly. But I just sound angry and distant in my feature column. So I may end up writing my back-up topic instead: rude customers in the F&B industry.
When I write it all out like that, school actually seems pretty interesting. I mean, all my cousins are envious that I'm in such a fun course. I've just been taking it for granted, I suppose.
Despite being busy with school, I still have time here and there for myself. I played around with my make-up and face-paint again in preparation for Halloween. This is just a really simple design, though, nothing as time-consuming as the zip-face or slit-mouth I did in previous years.
I just did it for fun. I won't be parading around like that for Halloween. I still don't know what I should dress up as this year...
I also still set aside about an hour a day for exercise with my mom, too.
Right now, I'm at the top of the roller-coaster track. I'm healthy, I'm productive, I'm sane. I just live in fear of the moment the roller-coaster takes a dive. I believe very strongly in the balance of life, so after this long streak of happiness, I'm in for a long bout of the opposite.
The second school term started two weeks ago. Routines and deadlines nudge their way back into my life. After everything that happened in June, the good and the bad, I find school quite tolerable: the train rides to and fro, the lunch hours I spend watching videos, scrolling through Tumblr while listening to my lecturers. It's all quite... yes, tolerable. On some days, I want to smash my fist through a wall (Research and Interview Techniques class. I despite this class.) but on other days, it's almost enjoyable.
With class assignments distracting me, I don't have much time to dwell on stuff like the future or my emotions. I am also actively avoiding thinking about such things. Fundamentally, I am "thinking less", which is good for me, I think. Whenever I find myself even just turning towards those topics, I play a random episode of an anime I like. This tactic's been successful thus far.
Since July started, my days pass by rather peacefully. Peaceful is worse than exciting. But it is also way better than depressing. So is peaceful good or not? I can't tell at this point of time. And this is where I stop the thought processes because any further and I'll be in a sour mood again. Urgh, I'm so moody.
I guess the only remarkable thing about July is me re-watching old anime, bringing me back to my 12-year-old days. One of my lecturers showed the class the first episode of Shingeki no Kyojin, which I adore, so in the following days I re-watched the whole thing. After that, I found myself re-watching Death Note (and I bought a lovely Ryuk sweater online. I can't wait for it to get here!). And, this past weekend, while I got a little impatient for the next episode of the second season of Free!, I re-watched the first season.
I've also been suffering this stupid cough for three weeks now. It got better about a week ago, with medication from the doctor, but now it's morphed into something else. There's an irritating itch at the back of my throat and when I cough, it's for a good ten to fifteen seconds, with me coming close to vomiting. I've been taking cough medicine but it doesn't seem to be working... Maybe I should head back to the doctor soon.
And with that, I end this blog post (which I'd started on a whim with nothing in mind to write about). Good night!
It's been a month since I saw fade perform for the last time. It was a... weird night. Just weird.
Not the live, mind you. fade is aptly named in the fact that they make everything fade away when they perform and that night's performance was no different. Once the live started, bang, everything narrowed down to my spot in the front row, the speakers blaring into my right ear, and the five members of fade standing on stage. To be honest, I've lost almost all the details. I can't even remember what they were wearing.
But I remember feeling so excited. ('Excited' is a pretty common word, ain't it, but it's the word I'm looking for. Excited. Ex-cited. Eggs. Ighted. Hehe.)
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My God, he's even cuter up close, is the first thing I found myself thinking as he came to a stop in front of me. I'd seen him around the restaurant before and he definitely stands out. His hair is dyed a reddish-brown with a splash of black, which I suppose is his hair roots. His face is long and well-defined with a strong jaw and a sharp nose. What struck me most was his smile, young and adorable, but mature in its own way. His voice is higher than most males'. It's the kind that makes you wonder if his voice broke during puberty, and if it had, how much higher had his voice been before that? He's also shorter than the other guys working here, only slightly taller than myself, adding to the cuteness.
"You're on pantry duty tonight," he told me in Chinese, much to my horror. I know he speaks English, I've heard him do so to the customers. I suppose he assumed I'm more fluent in Chinese, as is everyone else working here. "Have you done pantry duty before?"
"No," I replied. It was only my fourth day working there. I'd only done table and condiment duty so far.
"Okay, I'll teach you how to do pantry duty later," he said, making me nervous almost instantly. He would be helping me out in the pantry later, giving me instructions only in Chinese? Fuck, I didn't want to make a fool out of myself in front of him...
"Okay, thanks," I replied instead, unable to do anything else.
The first part of it went well. I understood most of what he said and, even if I didn't, I could guess from his body language. We had to collect all the tea pots, jugs and cloths from the four different stations in the restaurant and wipe the hot water dispensers. Afterwards, he brought me to the pantry and told me to wash all of it.
He washed one of the jugs for me and I watched on in silence, focusing on his hands. My original intention was to observe how he washed them (I’d washed dishes before, of course, but I wanted to see how he did it.) but my attention derailed from the way his hands were moving to his hands themselves. They were more tanned than the rest of the body and there were burn marks and scars. I also noticed a band-aid on his forearm. His fingers were calloused, fingers nails clipped. Thinking back on it now, I can’t even remember how he’d move his hands, only how his hands looked. I only remember that the way he washed the jug told me he'd been working in the F&B industry for a long time. There were no unnecessary movements made and he moved very quickly. He was used to the hustle and bustle of waitering.
I'd been like that once. But after months of absence in the workforce, I'd slowed down considerably. I didn't seem to be able to grasp how speed was second nature in places like these. I was alarmed the first time he came to help me clear a table. He cleared three plates in the time I took to clear one. I realised then how much slower I’d gotten. Time to buck up, I'd thought to myself then. You're back in this craphole.
His hands were so different from his face. He looked and sounded incredibly carefree, eyes sparkling, a hint of a smile constantly on his lips (I don't think I'd ever seen him frown.). There was no poison – absolutely none – in his veins. His hands told a different story. He had the hands of a bald forty-five year old garbageman who would sit in a recliner after a long day at work, a cigarette between two rough fingers.
Later, as I washed the tea pots and jugs, he watched.
“This isn’t your first job, is it?” he asked and I wondered if the way I washed the tea pots and jugs told him that.
I shook my head in reply, scrubbing all the corners of the jug and then the edges. I washed it vigorously.
“And your previous job was also in this industry?”
“Yep,” I replied.
He didn’t say anything after that.
That night, in the comfort of my pyjamas, in the safety of my bedroom in an English-speaking home, I remembered his aged hands. I spread my fingers and looked at my own hands, turning them over and back twice. My fingernails were short. My veins were quite visible through my ill-looking skin. My hands trembled slightly. I wondered what picture my hands painted for others to see. Did they think my hands mismatched my face?
Then I wondered why my hands were constantly shaking. Not much, not violently. In fact, I see the tremors more than I feel them. It's almost as if my hands are refusing to settle. Because I can't decide what sort of person I'd like to be.
My birthday just passed recently and I turned 19. I was unfathomably excited for my birthday this year. I think the lackluster Christmas last year had something to do with it. But because I was so excited, I thought it would be a disaster. Because that's usually how life works. Well, my life, at least.
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I just took some medication that's making me sleepy so this is really gonna be disorganised...
It's just dabbles about my time in Osaka in December. God, I miss those ten days so much.
I miss walking with Bernie from the train station back to her apartment when it's already dark out and the temperature has dropped from a comfortable nine degrees to a biting six. The temperature didn't really bother me, though, because I was having too much fun talking with Berine. We'd talk about the stuff we did that day, we'd talk about Jon and Kansei. The railway tracks were on our left and there were apartment buildings and stores on our right. And, on some nights, we'd see a white cat sitting outside the hair salon. It let us pet it and rub its belly. Friendly kitty.
God knows why but out of all the fantastic things I did in Osaka, that's probably what I miss most. Simply walking to Bernie's apartment from the train station at night. No stars are out, and the path is pretty deserted. Then we'd cross the road and go to LAWSON, a convenience store, to buy a bento and breakfast for the next day, as well as chuhai, before heading on to her cosy apartment.
After #DamageLiver in Shimokitazawa and two Camui Gakuen lives in Chiba, I went on to Osaka and stayed with Bernie for ~10 days. We had an awesome time together and one of the highlights was the #DamageLiver tour final in Shinsaibashi on the 23rd. \m/
fade & fade family love before #DamageLiver
Bernie and I reached Shinsaibashi around 2pm. We headed straight to DROP where we were going to meet Louise and Henry. A few minutes later, Jon came up the stairs from DROP. I quickly grabbed Bernie (because she was facing me, not the entrance to DROP) and said, "BERNIE, IT'S JON." She was so shocked that her foot fell into the drain behind her, haha.
I'm not sure if Jon saw us or not because he headed down the street the other way. He had on his sunglasses and scarf and he basically looked like he just jumped out of one of his many Twitter photos. And he hadn't shaved yet so mm, he looked nice and rugged with the stubble. Much appreciated.
A few minutes later, we saw him coming back. As he approached us, I scrambled to get his Christmas present out of my bag because I was worried I wouldn't get the chance to pass it to him afterwards.
I got him this really cool mini bartending kit. And I forgot to take a photo of it before giving it to him so here's an image off Google.
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Thank you fade and fade family for an amazing time that nothing else could ever duplicate.
Here's to 2014 with y'all!
Happy New Year, everyone!
On Twitter, ever since I saw fade in Osaka, it's just been Jon-Jon-Jon-VAMPS-Jon-fade-Jon-life-Jon-J
I thought Jon was so handsome and so funny and man, his voice is just so boyish and yasashii. And then I heard him speak in Japanese fluently and my heart burst.
He still has the same effect on me, urgh. I hate this so, so much. But, thanks to this obsession of mine, everyday's a little brighter, a little more exciting.
And I'm just gonna leave this here
It's from an acoustic live that fade did with another band called Undergraph. The song, Close to You, starts at the 3:09 point. The singer from Undergraph sings one verse but the rest is all Jon and I just love this performance so much: the way Jon looks, the many side-profile shots that the camera gives us. Translation of the song here.
Anyway, I went straight back to work at 8 Cafe & Bar after I came back from Japan. I love working there. It's so cosy and the atmosphere's really nice.
Today, my boss had to leave the cafe to me for a few minutes 'cause he had to interview someone for a part-time job. I just said 'okay' and went back to wiping the glasses behind the bar counter while keeping an eye on the customers. It was then I thought about how far I'd come in this job. In the past, I'd be a ball of anxiety, worrying about speaking to customers and dealing with them without my boss's supervision. But now, after months of working there, I know how everything works and it's a nice feeling. I hardly ever have to ask my boss questions and, in fact, I'm the one being consulted by the newer workers (I especially feel very powerful when my boss asks me to train the new workers, haha).
So the busy lunch hours are a nice distraction from Jon.
School starts in about two weeks. Then, a week after that, I'm flying back to Japan to celebrate Halloween with the one and only VAMPS. This year, I'm attending the live in Kobe with Bernie! I'm so excited because it's her first Halloween live and we're gonna do scary make-up together and have lots of fun! So, this is what it's like to have an older sister... :)
It's 1:06am right now and I've got to get up early for work tomorrow so maybe it's time I turn in.