Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CH240: Mainstream

As weird as my thought process goes, after watching Panic! at the disco doing a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, my mind went to thoughts on mainstreaming.

At first I was like, who is this band? Their cover is good. Then I thought, they must have been an obscure band before - that was able to catch the current and go mainstream from indie or underground.

Currently, going mainstream and viral has become mostly easier with technology. With so many social media platforms to be discovered in, talents are easier shared and discovered. How was it like before for musicians? Handing off tapes, constantly performing in pubs to be discovered by a talent scout?

This is beside the point I wanted to make. There is power in mainstream. Why would there be social media campaigns to change the thought and opinions of people, to raise awareness etc? Governments use it (social media) to affect the direction the stream flows. We've seen Russia try to influence the mainstream with their fabrications and cover ups with the downing of MH17. We've seen ISIS go mainstream with their  gore. Somehow, IMO they're very much like Al Qaeda but with a better representation on social media. They've ridden mainstream and were able to use social media as a platform for recruitment.

I find it pretentious when people denounce mainstream. Let's take another example from something fictional - True Blood. The vampires campaigned for mainstreaming with the introduction of the human blood aptly called True Blood. They presented themselves as safe because they've synthesized a product that will stave them off from feeding on humans.

Another example would be the gay identity. There are pride events in different cities to raise awareness on equality. Awareness is being raised on discrimination, unfair treatment, abuse and bullying, which otherwise would go on to be accepted and unspoken. People  fight for awareness to influence mainstream.

Mainstreaming is very much a western concept it seems. Western mindset feels more open. Different movements started from the west: Gay Pride, PETA, Wikileaks, Feminism, the different causes UN pushed (anti poverty, hunger), AIDS awareness, etc. (For ISIS, I believe, it's a westerner who manages their social media campaigns). I guess it's because America is the number one superpower which is why?

Mainstreaming is a thing I would say everyone aspires to ride on in one way or another. People looking for likes, riding the waves of popularity (fads: Philippines-  ihop, uniqlo, etc). Mainstreaming is a thing. Let's not deny it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

CH239: Paella Night

I So my housemate and I just finished hosting our Paella night. She made a seafood paella Negra while I made a simple chicken, chorizo and shrimp paella.

I am so happy it turned out well considering it was my first time making the dish and I must say without any conceit that it's almost at par with the one I tried in barcelona :)

Definitely feeling fulfilled about this culinary accomplishment!

I learned after peeling four cloves of garlic that you need to crush it first before you peel to make it easier.

Cooking paella needs constant attention so the bottom doesn't burn too much!

Presentation makes the food tastier! Make it look good and instagram the shit out of it.


My housemates seafood paella negra


So happy my great friends Paul and Eugene could make it by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

[Random] Top 20 Cities Meme

I was just tagged on Facebook by a well-traveled friend to share my Top 20 cities.
As it felt a bit like a #humblebrag to post on Facebook, I figured I'll just put it down here. It's also a good reference :) Unlike the book meme which took me a while to write down and list, this one came a bit easier. One of my favorite question I like to ask on dates is "What are your 3 favorite cities - that you've visited?" - so seeing it expand to 20 well, I guess that's why this meme is by well-traveled people tagging "well-traveled" friends.

From what I've observed on the top of the list, having 4 seasons is more to my liking.

Your Top 20 Cities. Tag me and 20 of your well-traveled friends to find out their favorite destinations.
Here's mine:
1. New York, USA
2. London, UK
3. Taipei, Taiwan
4. Madrid, Spain
5. Lisbon, Portugal
6. Bangkok, Thailand
7. Barcelona, Spain
8. Hongkong, China
9. Edinbrugh, UK (Scotland)
10. Singapore, Singapore
11. Wellington, New Zealand
12. Las Vegas, US
13. Auckland, New Zealand
14. Siem Reap, Cambodia
15. Vigan, Philippines
16. Los Angeles, USA
17. Boracay, Philippines
18. Bali, Indonesia
19. Cascais, Portugal
20. Davao City, Philippines

Sabbatical (possible) additions/omissions
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Hague, The Netherlands
Brussels, Belgium
Ghent, Belgium
Bruges, Belgium
Milan, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Pisa, Italy
Cinque Terre (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore), Italy
Nice, France
(Eze, France)
(Monte Carlo, Monacco)
Lyon, France
Paris, France
San Francisco, USA
Sydney, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CH238: Travel 101

Budget. Budget. Plan. Organize. Prepare.

I was up till 5am earlier this morning planning accomodations and transpo for my upcoming sabbatical.

God! New York accomodations are so expensive! Peak new year?!

So now I'm at the beach. After soaking up some sun, I wrote down all my expenses so far, forecasted expense, cash inflow and current liabilities. I'm a little stressed since the computations include my family's vacation which messes things up a bit.

Que cera. I shouldn't be so stressed since I decided to move out most of my money to Australia for when I migrate so that's a safety net. I just have to stick to my budget and plan accordingly. Plus! After sending IRAS (tax authority of Singapore) an email last week, I got my assessment last Friday and that's been paid for. One liability out of the way. Right now, let me soak up more sun and just worry about being without money some other day!

Monday, September 8, 2014

CH237: Life's a beach

[Update] The hotel manager of W Hotel just called me to inform me that they have found my wallet in the lady's toilet. :)

Life's a bitch. My wallet was stolen last weekend at W Hotel. In the span of 10 minutes from when I last saw it...boom. Gone.

I think it was the veuve clicquot champagne that made me impervious to the dangers of a theft. Oh well

I've moved on from the loss of some money, my Mont Blanc card holder, 1 ATM, 2 credit cards, fitness first membership card, Starbucks card and Singapore IC. I watched Fight Club the same evening and as Tyler Durden said "The things you own end up owning you." So, que cera.

I've moved on to dreaming of getting this one which is currently out of stock Except in MBS.

Or I'll just make do with the other Mont Blanc wallet my ex gave me and buy the Prada in Milan when I go in December.