Wow it’s been a while!

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Happy NEW YEAR! Okay, so it’s been more than over a year since I blogged the last time. I know I know… Life gets in the way. In a nutshell, we sold our 3 bedroom home and bought a 6 bedroom, renovated it into a 5 bedroom (put together two bedrooms to create a master suite with a spa bathroom! *exhale and thanking the universe for this extraordinary space*), we went to Hawaii (taking my in laws for a Hawaiian vacation for the first time in their lives), and took a 7 weeks holiday to Asia! Yes, life has been super hectic and busy, but kind (mostly) to us. 2013 was such rough year (excluding the holidays). The move and the renovation weren’t exactly a smooth process. But we got through it. I will share all of our adventures with you, I promise to write more consistently from now on! 

:)

Muse Mini

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I can’t remember where I bought this product from, but I think there was some kind of special offer from Groupon or KGB Deals. I needed this because the sound quality of my macbook air is not that good when I’m not using my headphones. The price was really good so I thought I’d have nothing to lose even if it arrived less than what expected (and I didn’t really expect a lot since it’s a small portable speaker). But, wow, I was actually blown away by the sound quality of this tiny thing. Also, for some reason, I bought one and the seller sent me two of these babies. I am one really happy customer.

Things that I like about it: It’s small, super portable, great sound quality, and it’s wireless (via Bluetooth)! It would still keep the Bluetooth connection with excellent sound quality up to 10 meters/ 30 ft away. It charges itself fully in 1 hour and is able to playback up of about 8 hours with that one charge. I travel a lot, and the Muse fits just about anywhere in my luggage and it barely adds any weight at all.

Things that I don’t really like about it: When it runs out of battery, it makes this annoying (loud) sound, even when I am charging it (it still makes that sound)

All in all, I would still recommend this for people who would need a small portable speaker. Anyone with gadgets that have Bluetooth connection and in need of a good quality portable speaker would certainly appreciate this product.

Spike iPhone Case with Keyboard! (Yes, I’m excited)

This product looks really awesome. One problem I have with my iPhone is the typing. I never liked touch screen for typing, and I have small fingers. I imagine it would be harder for someone with large fingers. The solution to this problem comes in Spike iPhone Keyboard Case. This keyboard case functions as a phone protector/cover as well. The keyboard can be swung back to be hidden behind the phone when not needed. Brilliant.

The company is currently running a kickstarter project to raise funds for the development of this product.

Jellyfish

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We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the long weekend, and I expected to see some amazing sea creatures. I scuba dive, and sea creatures never cease to amaze me, in their shapes, textures, colours and whatnot. But of all the sea creatures I saw, slugs and all, I was still most impressed with the jellyfish.

Not at all resembling any fish in their appearance, jellyfish look more like alien creatures from outer-space (as I have come to recognize them from Hollywood movies of course) than an animal. But there’s a strange elegance in the way they move, like a ballroom dance performed in an anti-gravity dance floor. Fascinating is the word that would best described them as I watch them dance in the striking blue water, their transparent bodies glowing.

They are so sublimely beautiful: these brainless, boneless and heartless giant planktons (yes they are actually planktons, not fish). I asked my husband after wondering to myself, “what purpose do they serve in this world you think? They and all the other planktons?” to which my husband responded, “Just so the world can keep doing what it is doing. They are there to sustain the ecosystem in which we are a part of”.

I guess they exist so we can go on living.

I stared at these creatures, mesmerized by their alien bodies and bioluminescence. They are so foreign to me, and so different from me, but in some complex chain of ecosystem, we are connected. I felt foolishly sentimental.

Alchemy of Words Series #2- Loneliness

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Photograph Credit: Patrick Gonzales

Loneliness has been chasing me for a while now. I’ve always tried to avoid it, but enough is enough. I finally decided to confront it. I looked for it for days, but I think it knew that I wasn’t afraid of it anymore, so it tried to hide from me to then taunt me when I least expect it.

After days of looking, I finally found it standing on a boat, floating on a foggy sea of grass. By this point my world had turned black and white, I wasn’t sure when it started loosing colour. Perhaps, unconsciously, long before I decided to confront Loneliness.

As I was approaching it, the fog grew colder and thicker, blanketing me. I pulled my scarf tighter, my gloved-fingers trembling- I was unsure whether the cold or Loneliness that caused this physical reaction. Regardless. I had to do this.

I called Loneliness by its name. It slowly turned towards me. Its pale face almost white like death. I heard that they were very close friends. I am not scared of you anymore, I told it. It snickered at me, I could almost taste the acid on its cold grin. The fog grew colder.

I am not scared of you anymore, I repeated.

It stared back at me. Cold, icy, blank, piercing stare. I repeated my statement, trying to crush any vestiges of doubt from my voice. I started to see cracks creeping up its face, black and hairline-thin at first. Loneliness hissed at me.

Go away, I said. I am not scared of you anymore.

The cracks started to appear more visible, and it’s skin peeled, like some cheap dry paint that had been abandoned for centuries. Loneliness was still smirking, and hissing. I felt the fog circling around us like hungry sharks, its teeth sharp and ready to devour. I stared at Loneliness right in its eyes. The fog floated away from me towards Loneliness. It became thicker and fiercer, its teeth more visible. It devoured Loneliness with a thunderous sound. From in between the transparencies of the fog, for a split second I can still see Loneliness smirking, and then it was gone.

When the fog lifted, the boat was all alone on the sea of grass, and Loneliness was nowhere to be found.

Liquid Flowers of Jack Long

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So this is what our eyes cannot see what liquid can do. It’s hard to believe that these flowers are made from paint splashed and photographed at just the right moment to capture that flower figure before it then disappears into colourful liquidy blob. There’s something so fleeting about it too that makes it beautiful and reminds us as humans that all things are ephemeral in this world.

Perusing on the photos didn’t help me figure out how he did it, staring at the splatter pattern and the shape of the “flowers” didn’t help me either. I still couldn’t figure out how he did it. Perhaps I should do my own experiment involving colourful liquid and a perfect combination of an impressively fast shutter speed and excellent lighting.

Jack Long’s “flowers” remind me of the morbid flower Rafflesia Arnoldii I saw in Indonesia once, aptly nicknamed “The Corpse Flower” for it’s strong odour of rotting flesh (ew.. I know). Long’s “flowers” curiously consist of recognizable shapes (considering that they are liquid). If pursued further, there’s a strong element of art/science working well together here. Ah.. another idea for a great interdisciplinary curriculum for the curious minds. So many ideas, so little time.

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