Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Book That Changed My Life


Book title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Summary: Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way – thin, thinner, thinnest – maybe she’ll disappear altogether.

Wintergirls was unlike any other book I've read. It's not just the author's unique writing style or the brutally honest narration from a self-destructive girl that held my interest. This novel just really made me think. It led me into the mind of a person like Lia, and this changed my opinion on people who are victims to such eating disorders. I have read reviews of this novel criticizing Lia's character, stating she was too selfish and pathetic. But she's supposed to be human, people need to accept that not every main character will be likeable and heroic.

Wintergirls was everything from creepy to inspiring. I spent hours staying up at night, reading and taking it all in. It was hard to put down... I had to know Lia's ending. She suffers from anorexia, she wants to be the skinniest girl in school, skinnier than her best friend Cassie, who herself is a bulimic. What intrigued me was that in normal circumstances a friend would try to help you out of your disorder but here we have two girls who are practically competing to see who can turn into a bare skeleton before the other.

If you read it over, you'll realise the only thing Lia has her mind on is her weight. She's not living her life. She's simply trying to shed the pounds one day at a time until she reaches what she calls 'Dangerland' (her ideal weight goal). But it doesn't stop there, once she reaches her ideal weight, she'll want to take it further.. a few more pounds.. then some more until she's size Zero. She's so good at hiding the disorder, that her parents don't realise how bad her condition has gotten until it may be too late.

It's a little freaky how her friend Cassie's ghost is always haunting her, cheering her on to lose the weight so Lia can join Cassie in death. I think one of my favourite parts of this novel was their friendship and the irony behind it (won't ruin the plot for you).

Basically, this novel changed my life because I learned to sympathise with people who suffer from these disorders. There's always a story behind the scars and the visible bones. Lia had a story too, so did Cassie. There's always a reason people feel the need to starve or cut or whatever. We shouldn't shake our heads at them in disappointment, we should try to get through to them. Wintergirls really made me want to reach out and it inspired me into believing that there is hope for these people who are slowly killing themselves.

We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.



Wow that was a long post. But anyways, have you read Wintergirls? Are you going to read it?
Is there a book that changed YOUR life? :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Worst Subject in School

This has to be one of the easiest topics ever for me.

I hate Maths. I managed to pass in my O level exams but I still suck at it compared to my other subjects.

It just isn't for me. I like writing, literature, art, history and so on. Maths... not so much.
Science would be my second worst but at least I have a SLIGHT interest in it. I have almost no interest in Maths.

Seriously, when will I ever need to find the gradient of a line in the real world? I'm not going to be biased. For certain career paths and jobs, people DO need to know this sort of boring stuff. But for those people not going down that road, Maths is just a nightmare. I understand that everyone needs to know basic maths, the real question is: HOW much maths do we really need to know?

Functions, bearings, histograms, cumulative frequency, quadratic equations, probability, transformations, vectors... VECTORS. Don't even get me started on that stuff. *Shudders.* Why do we need to know all this again?

My hatred for maths is no secret. I even made it clear to my maths teacher(s) that I had no interest in the subject and that listening to them go on and on about some lame topic bored me to tears.

Yes I'm exaggerating. Most of the things I said above are not justified but I don't care. It's not everyday that I get to diss something I've hated all my life.

I'm done ranting and complaining.
What is/was your worst subject in school? :)

I Wish I Spent Less Money on This

Food.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't spend much money on anything besides food. Junk food to be exact. My excuse: I NEED chocolate. Or something sweet... and unhealthy... and tasty... so yeah, food is something I wish I spent less money on. I always need snacks, something to munch on while I'm up at night.

But it's not like I spend A LOT of money on junk food so I like to think I'm pretty normal. I still manage to save up. I WISH I could get myself to spend money on things like books or gadgets (my current phone is pretty suck-ish but I insist on keeping it instead of buying a new one because at least it works). Yes, I'm stingy.

Anything you wish you didn't spend so much money on?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

You can 'Like' my posts now!

Just letting you know I added a facebook 'like' button!

I got the instructions to do it from this website.
The only inconvenient thing about it is that you have to click on the blog post title and then it will appear, not on the homepage of the blog (I hope that makes sense).

By the way, I have a request, can someone 'like' this post? I wanna see if it works!

Why I Use Facebook


People could have various reasons to use a social networking site such as Facebook. To communicate easily with people, to play games, to kill time, to advertise their business and so on.

So, why do I use facebook?

I simply use it to keep in touch with friends and family, specially those who live far away.
There are just so many features available on it like status updates or posting stuff on another person's wall, I won't even try to list everything out.

Oh and I think the 'Poke' feature is a pretty unique idea :P

Basically, I use it because I think it's a lot better than other social networking sites. And yes, I'm just a little obsessed with it :P

Note: This topic was suggested by Leah, click here to check out her blogs!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Most Hated Movie


10,000 BC
Summary: A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe.

It just wasn't my type of movie. I went to watch it with my siblings. My brothers seemed to be enjoying it but my sister and I were just sitting there waiting for it to end so we could get the heck out of the theatre. Yes, it was that bad.

So why didn't I like it? Basically, there was no suspense. Nothing to make me want to continue watching or care about what was happening to the characters. The genre of this movie was supposed to be: Action thriller and adventure. But there was nothing to keep me at the edge of my seat, wondering if the issue will be resolved or if the main character (I can't even remember his name) will accomplish his goal.

I watched it quite a long time ago so I can't remember too many details.

What's your most hated movie?

Friday, December 17, 2010

How I Choose to Spend My Money

To be honest, I can be stingy when it comes to spending my money. I don't use a lot of my pocket money. I save as much as I can. Lame, I know.
If have more than enough saved I buy a gadget, like an iPod/Hand phone (only if I'm in need of it). I rarely buy anything other than food for myself since my parents pay for my clothes and such.
Besides that I mainly just use my money if I want to buy snacks or eat out.

*Thinks desperately about how to make the post longer*

Yeah I think that's about all I have to say on this topic :P
How do you spend your money?

Oh and another quick request: Have a look at my blogging list on the right of the blog and tell me which topic you would like me to write on next! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

If I Had a Super Power

Flying. I'd love to be able to fly to wherever and whenever I want.

Distance wouldn't be a barrier any more. I wouldn't have to miss my friends and family who live too far away because I could visit them at any time without needing transport.
Besides it being convenient, being able to just lift yourself of the ground and explore the skies would be amazing.

Who wouldn't want to fly? Who wouldn't want to break free just for a little while? You could go anywhere you wanted!

So Flying is the super power I'd like to have. Besides that, Mind-reading would be awesome too.
I would love to know what others are thinking and how their minds work. You wouldn't even have to think of who to trust and who is probably lying behind your back because you could simply read their thoughts.

Anyway, I came across a forum about what super power people would like to have. One person mentioned that they would want to be able to provide food and such to every person in the world, so we could end world hunger. Aww!

So, what super power do YOU wish you had?

Note: I'm adding a little box on the left with the blogging list, the ones which have been completed are in bold and have links to them. I've added a few more topics from the ones you guys suggested!

My Blogging List

I mentioned in my previous post about following a day-to-day blogging list. Well here it is! I might be adding more things to it later but this is what I have come up with. These are a collection of topics from various lists I found online and on other blogs. I won't be following any order, just pick a topic randomly.

I can't promise to write everyday because I think I can develop my thoughts better if I have more time to think about the topic. Here's the list:

The Story of My Most Serious Injury
Why I Love My Hometown
Why I Was a Childhood Bully
How I Shop
How I Choose to Spend My Money
I Wish I Spent Less Money on This
My Worst Subject in School
If I Had a Super Power
Why I Don’t Believe Anymore
Why I Chose My University Degree
My Most Hated Movie
The Book That Changed My Life
I Couldn’t Live Without This Song
If I Hear This Song Again, Radio Personalities Will Suffer
Why I Believe in Luck
Why I Don’t Believe in Luck
Why I Care About Celebrities
My Childhood Ambitions
What Scares the Shit Out of Me

I have 19 topics right now, if you have any more topics to suggest, please do!
Feel free to use these ideas yourself :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tree Man (Half human/ half tree?)

Note: I'm going to try to make this post as interesting as possible because I don't know if other people will find it as fascinating as I did...

A few months ago, I watched a documentary about an Indonesian man, Dede. Long story short, he looks like this:



He has a skin disease called Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, people often refer to him as Tree Man, because his physical features are half human and half tree. There are only two others like him in the world.

Dede Koswara is a 35 year old fisherman in Indonesia. As a teenager, he cut his knee, and ever since then strange growths have covered his body. The growths on his hands and feet look especially like tree roots, and the large patches on his skin resemble the bark of a tree. As such, he’s simply called Tree Man.

Unsurprisingly, Dede has difficulty functioning, since he can’t use his hands and his feet are often a hindrance. He lost his job and his neighbors shunned him. His wife abandoned him, despite their two children. To support them, he began working at carnival freak shows.

I felt terrible after reading that! Here's another picture:



Doctors in the United States believed they could treat Dede. After months of negotiations, Dede was finally treated. He underwent extensive surgery, and 13 lbs (6 kg) of overgrown warts were removed from his body. The surgery had three parts. Firstly, they removed the thick layer of wart tissue and the immense “roots” from his hands. Secondly, they removed the smaller patches of warts from the rest of his body. Thirdly, they grafted skin over his hands, where the skin was removed. The hope was that his growths would not return, or would at least return very slowly.

This, sadly, was not the case. Though 95% of his warts were removed, they grew back, and doctors estimated that it would take two surgeries a year for the rest of his life to keep them away. However, the surgery was far from a total failure. Though he will never be fully cured, Dede regained much functionality. He could feed himself, use a cell phone, and hold a pen, for example – all of which were things he could not do before. From the hospital, he remarked: “What I really want first is to get better and find a job. But then, one day, who knows? I might meet a girl and get married.” It’s reported that he has become a fan of Sudoku, since he can now hold a pen.




This is just so unusual and things like this really interest me. It really sucks that not many people know about this skin disease and how the people who suffer from it live their lives struggling. So I guess you could say I posted this on my blog to create awareness.
What do you guys think about this disease?
Personally, I feel bad for the people who have it and the fact that Dede is looked at as a 'freak' in a circus is very disheartening. I hope they find a cure!


Click here for further information and more pictures and videos!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stereotypes

I like to observe people. I don't know why but somehow the way certain people react to certain situations is intriguing to me.

That said, often times I look around and I realise what a prejudiced world we live in. People here can be so judgemental and biased. Now, you might be thinking 'I'm not like that', but more likely than not, you are, whether you realise it or not. In my opinion, society nowadays runs on stereotypes.

I'll be the first to admit that I can be judgemental at times. If I see a big guy wearing dark clothes with tattoos and piercings everywhere, my first thought would be that he looks scary and unapproachable. Similarly, if a guy's wearing bright pink pants, carrying a shoulder bag, I will find myself immediately make judgements on his personality. But that's the thing, we've grown up thinking that people have to be a certain way.

Whether it was from our parents or group of friends, as we grow up, our brain categorises how society runs, what is acceptable and what isn't. Often, I find myself not doing or saying things because I'm afraid of how people would judge me after seeing that type of behaviour.

Not many people realise how their judgemental actions can have effect on how a person behaves. For example, I came across a poet online who wrote amazing dark poetry. She literally managed to paint a picture in my head with each stanza. But she felt the need to add a little note at the end of some of her poems telling the readers that she is not emo or depressed or anything, she simply feels comfortable with writing this genre of poetry.

I could go on with this topic forever, but my main point is that we should all try to break through these stereotypes. Think a little before judging someone at first glance.

"Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful."
- Margaret Mead