Why do you write?

I remember when I started writing in high school, it was because I wanted to be a film maker and make blockbuster action movies. Well, that was the surface reason. If I were to be really honest with myself, I think I was an angry little kid and had a lot to bitch about, and my screenplays gave me a creative outlet to do that and a reason to get people to hear my desperate cries for attention.

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These days, I honestly don’t feel that I write to vent anymore. I mean, I still write bitchy stuff, but I think I channel my old anger more for comedic effect than any real sense of frustration. Entertaining friends then became the new reason I wrote, and I had tons and tons of mass-emails that resulted from that (this was before blogs came about).

So what’s my drive now? Why do I keep writing? Well, money is a good motivator, which would explain all the writing gigs I take up and my careers in magazines and social media. 

But what about my personal writing, like this blog for example. I guess I still want to entertain people, but deep down inside I want to write something that resonates with someone. Something that makes you pause for a moment and think: “Yeah, I know exactly how that guy feels.”

I was listening to Tegan and Sara today, and one particular song hit me hard.

Why don’t you want to win me now?
Why don’t you want to show me off?
Tell me why you couldn’t try,
Couldn’t try to keep me here.

Someday soon, I won’t be the one who waits for you.

It was like Sara took a bit of my soul and put it into her song because these lyrics just make so much sense to me. And I guess it is great to hear someone else echo your thoughts in such detail, because it reduces your sense of isolation. I’m not alone in the way I feel (or in this case, have felt), so I can take comfort in that.

Have I ever written something that has resonated with someone? Probably. I certainly hope so. Definitely not those silly screenplays I wrote as an angry teen… but there is one particular screenplay that means a lot to me.

I called it Idle Dreams and it was about two people who yearned to be able to pursue their dreams, yet couldn’t bring themselves to do it for various reasons like financial fears, other commitments, and the dreaded lack of self-confidence. I’m pretty certain that I can’t be the only person in the world who has felt like this.

It’s my most personal screenplay ever, and I really wanted to produce it into an indie film. I had even gotten a couple of actors together and we had begun production on it.

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I lost steam and confidence halfway through, so it exists solely as a screenplay these days, along with some stills and recorded dialogue. My inability to finish it remains one of my biggest failures in my life (a fact that resurfaced recently when I got hit by the job interview question “What do you consider to be your biggest failure?”).

Anyway, I still harbor that hope that I will write something that makes a deep level of sense someday, that will so perfectly condense into words that describe the purity of a feeling or experience, so I’ll keep writing until that happens.

Well, that’s my reason. I’m sure you guys have your own reasons, and I think it’d be awesome if you shared them. Maybe it might be nice to find out that someone else writes for the same reason.

So I haven’t been blogging much lately

Recently I accidentally posted something onto my personal blog instead of the baby blog for my daughter, and that made me realize something: I don’t think I’ve blogged here since she was born! That was seven months ago!

There are many reasons for this, such as lack of time, being preoccupied with the baby, work has been eating into my spare time too (the social media community never sleeps!)… but honestly speaking, I could probably find the time to write a post every now and then.

There was just something else holding me back though, and that’s the WordPress community. Basically, you guys… but in a good way!

I guess to me blogging has always been more than just writing. It’s also a lot of reading, and interacting. I write my blog, you read my blog, I read your blog, and so forth. The whole community aspect is a huge part of WordPress, and it just felt… a little bit selfish to write without reading. So to me, coming back required committing the time required to read and comment on other blogs too, and that was something I can’t really spare right now.

That, and I pretty much spend more of my waking hours managing the digital community at work so I kind of just want to not be so online-social when I get home.

That's me at work, managing our online community.

That’s me at work, managing our online community.

I’m not sure if you agree with this, but it’s something that nagged at me and really prevented me from coming back. It sounds kind of dumb and silly now that I’ve written it out though.

Do you guys feel the same way, or am I just being really weird and over-sensitive?

Your beautiful laughter

Edit: This post was actually meant for our Beanie blog for our daughter… but I guess I can just leave it here.

Dear Beanie,

Just a quick note… the way you laugh just melts my heart. Nothing can ruin my day while you’re laughing and giggling.

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Love,

Daddy

Celebrities as normal people

Do you remember that 90s TV show where Jerry O’Connell and that hottie Sabrina Lloyd would jump around to alternate dimensions where history would’ve just been different by just a little bit? What if they ended up on a dimension where celebrities that we all know and love just didn’t quite make it, and ended up as normal people?

Danny Evans has gone and made some pictures that theorize how they would look… and they look awesome! Here are examples of Scarlett Johansson, Kim K and Kanye and the Olsen twins, but do check out this link for more (including an epic one of Tom Cruise)

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What do you wear to welcome your child?

As I gathered our bags and prepared to head into the hospital to induce wifey into labor, a thought crossed my mind:

What am I going to wear?

Now this isn’t anything to do with vanity, but more along the lines of “what kind of imagery do I want our child to see upon entering this world?”

I panicked, because while we’ve been so busy thinking about prams, cots, and all the other important arrangements I completely forgot to think about this. I know it probably isn’t the most important thing in the world and maybe our little Beanie isn’t going to ever remember this moment, but still let’s try to figure this out, right?

After all, maybe what Beanie sees at this moment will affect his/her future. Familiar shapes that provide comfort. Colors that will be subconsciously associated with the first breath.

I went through my wardrobe to pick out some choices. I avoided plain shirts and decided to go with the designs that most represent our likes and personality. In the end I narrowed down my short list to four shirts.

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The finalists

A Vikings shirt, because that’s my favorite football team and purple is a favorite color of ours.

A storm trooper shirt, because Star Wars is awesome and both wifey and I love the original trilogy. None of that clone trooper nonsense for Beanie!

Sonic the Hedgehog. Probably the most kid friendly design as it’s a cartoon with pleasing round shapes, but also because this is the original 16-bit Sonic, representing the wonderful period of time that is the 90s.

The Tegan and Sara shirt that we got from the concert where Tegan touched our Beanie bump and gave us her blessings.

In the end I decided against the Vikings shirt because football and the Vikings aren’t an integral to our identities. I wasn’t so sure about the storm trooper either as the shapes were probably a bit too abstract.

As for Tegan and Sara, well what it Beanie turns out to be a boy? Beanie might feel that we were hoping for a girl to name after Tegan, and I don’t want him to feel like he’s let us down. Besides, wifey called dibs on wearing that shirt.

So Sonic it is!

Anyway we are resting and waiting in the delivery suite now. Wish us luck!

Tegan and Sara – live in Singapore 2013

If you’ve been reading my blog, then you’ll undoubtedly realize by now that wifey and I are big fans of Tegan and Sara. I’m sure the repeated posts about them have it away.

Sadly, we have not been able to catch them live, as they have never toured in Singapore before. The closest they’ve come was Australia, but at the time it wasn’t quite economically feasible for us to fly there just for a gig.

Omigod Tegan and Sara tickets!

Omigod Tegan and Sara tickets!

Fan signs FTW!

Fan signs FTW!

That all changed last Monday when they played a gig at Singapore’s Esplanade concert hall. It was incredibly close to Beanie’s popping date, and wifey had declared that if her water broke during the concert, I was not to take her to the hospital until after the encore.

Prompted by a friend, I actually made silly fan signs declaring that if our unborn baby is a girl, we’d name her after Tegan. Wifey vetoed it when she saw the signs though… But with the power of peer pressure we convinced her that it would be fun and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

And as for the gig, it was everything we expected it to be. The girls were incredibly lively and funny. And the set list was pretty much perfect, playing virtually all the songs we wanted to hear including a medley of their older songs.

Key highlights were The Con (one of my favorite songs), Back in your head, the amazing medley, and when Tegan let the audience sing the entire first verse and chorus of Call It Off – which they did well, I might add.

Now here’s the kicker: sometime the middle of the set, the girls noticed our signs and based one of their trademark banter sessions on fans who name their kids and pets after Tegan. And then Tegan came down and touched wifey’s baby bump, creating a huge uproar at the venue.

We didn’t manage to get a shot of it, but some wonderful person on uploaded a video onto YouTube with a high angle shot that shows this clearly at 2:07.

Now I wouldn’t be surprised if Tegan and Sara thought this sorta thing was borderline creepy stalker-fan behavior, but if they did they didn’t show it. Plus it really made wifey’s day, and it’s a moment I don’t think either of us will forget. And boy or girl, Beanie will obviously never hear the end of it.

I also got the chance to personally hand them the animation I’d made for them on two thumb drives, so that pretty much made my day too. I myself am rather paranoid and wouldn’t plug a strange USB stick into my computer for fear of viruses or hacks, so I have the feeling they wouldn’t watch it… But one can hope, right?

All in all I’d have to say it was the best concert experience I’ve had up until this point, and I can’t wait for them to return to Singapore!

Front row!

The amazing view from the front row!