Film Camera MjuII Kodak Ultramax 400 Sky Bird
Musings

5 AM Thoughts at 3.30 AM

My 5 AM thoughts visited me again today, only that it came at 3.30 AM.

It has been three days in a row that I haven’t been sleeping peacefully, but today it was much worse since I could not go back to sleep anymore.

I refuse to self-diagnose myself with insomnia. Self-diagnosing when it comes to health is a trait that has become second nature among my extended family. Hence my conscious effort to stir away from it. Even at 3.30 AM.

I think I just overstimulated myself yesterday; both mind and body. The brain has been forced to work since 8 AM yesterday, and it didn’t stop even until I went to bed. From office work, blog posts, personal errands and reading heavy stuff until I fell asleep.

Meanwhile, I also let myself binge-eat yesterday using the period excuse. From sugary drinks, spicy chips to late-night garlic rice.

As a result, the heated stomach and buzzing brain refused to let my tire-soul rest.


I thought about how it has been a while since I share my coffee-diary entries here. How I forever chase the golden-light in life, both literally and figuratively. Both topics are unrelated.

I wondered whether I would have developed a deeper and layered understanding of a language if I was not raised to be multilingual. Since even until now, I struggle to express myself a bit more in-depth. In any language. Not only that, I have passed an embarrassing number of reading materials, just because it’s too hard for me to digest.

I felt like there is a version of me who I want to be (the one who reads daily, who cooks often, who goes on hikes on the weekend and who runs a marathon) and there is the current me that is not there yet. This year is about closing the gap between those two MEs, or at least minimize the gap.

My thought then went to the unwrapped gifts in the living room. It’s for a party that I have been invited to, by someone I wouldn’t invite to mine. Funny, isn’t it? Someone can be your VIP, but it doesn’t always mean vice versa. If you think I was being mean, hey at least I got them a gift 🤷🏽.

I wrote a reminder to finish reading Patti Smith this month – preferably this weekend if I am good. And to visit a new-to-me neighborhood cafe before we move out from here. Also, to get a tarot journal.


– ❥K

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Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Mirror Selfie 2020 Meletos
Photography

Selfie on Film

I was introduced to film photography by a colleague turned friend, Pri. 

In the late 2019 I scored my first film camera (second hand on eBay) and started practising shooting film. 
Shooting film teaches you many things.

My most significant learning though was humility. Especially when some of what I thought would be “winning shots” came out blurry. 

This was the first camera-selfie shot I took that was not blurry. It was taken during our Meletos stay late last year.

Fingers crossed there will be more coming with more practice and learning.

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New Moon Capricorn Tarot Spread Moon Void Deck
Tarot

New Moon in Capricorn Tarot Spread

As you might have known, one of my tarot goals is to do a tarot spread for each new and full Moon throughout this year. So here is the first one, in conjunction with the first New Moon, in 2021.

The tarot spread is inspired by Shinjini’s New Moon in Capricorn tarot spread. I am using a freshly smoked-cleansed Stef, the Moon Void Tarot deck which seems to be a perfect fit for Moon-related tarot spread.

1. Significator for my career goal this year:

Eight of Pentacles

Can it be any clearer? Eight of Pentacles is about mastery and hard-work. To reach my career goal for this year, I ought to apply both attributes into my work-life.

Our efforts compound, even when we can’t see the growth.

2. Mindset that’s holding me back:

The Hermit

Err.. I struggled to grasp this one immediately. As a Virgo, being a hermit is like a normal state for me. But Hermit can also be a feeling of being disconnected and alone. This, connected with the action plans, below reminds me that I am not alone and that I have the support that I need to reach this goal.

3. Mindset that I need to adapt instead:

Seven of Wands

I am not at all surprise that Seven of Wands made an appearance. Seven of Wands is the overall energy I want to manifest into my life this year and that includes in the career aspect of it. I need to stand my ground, take up my well-deserved space, show myself and make sure that I am seen.

4. Action plans to reach my career goal:

Page of Pentacles

Crystal! Above anything else, Page of Pentacles for me represent learning. Continues learning and improving my skills at work will bring me closer to the goal.

5. Message from the Moon:

Judgement

It’s reminding me to put the hard-work now without worrying too much if I don’t see the expected result immediately/soon – which is something I am currently struggling with. That I ought to trust the process and the day will come when I will get to reap what I sow.

Also, a message in the book regarding Judgement:

Change is necessary in order to grow and evolve.

Well, that’s about it for me. I need to go back to do some more work tonight to reduce the piling new work-tasks. With that, Happy New Moon in Capricorn everyone! May it sprinkles us with the hard-working Capricorn energy to get a head start to reach the goals we set for ourselves this year.

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Best Days
Celebrations, Diary, Loving, Musings

What Was The Best Day of Your Life?

What was the best day of your life?

The question popped out on my phone. Sent by Jik. It got me thinking. The thing is, I have many.

The days I spent with my cousins, driving around Jakarta to buy the best road-side food.

The weekend I went to Malaka with my Uni friends and made more friends by the time we went back to Singapore.

Our three weeks honeymoon in Japan.

The weekend I went to Goa to attend my cousin’s wedding.

The first time I saw the Autumn colours IRL.

The many moments I shared with Cheryl when we worked together.

The day I went to the theme park as a kid with just my parents. I was wearing a red dress, and they let me do water rafting. It was so fun. I felt so happy and excited, and a bit of a grown-up.

The day I got a salary hike.

The day I got approval to move to Australia.

The day I stood in front of the sixteen floors National Library in Singapore.

The day I noticed Vi entering the classroom wearing her purple pyjamas.

The days I spent in Phi Phi Island, wearing a bikini for the first time and learning to be confident in it.

The day I bought my first MacBook.

Birthdays.

The hours I spent in the bookstores. And the hours I spent in Spellbox.

The night of the New Year’s Eve when I met Fafa.

The drunken night walk with my cousins in Copenhagen.

The day I ate MSG ridden fried-rice in a Chinese restaurant in Italy after not having rice for more than a week for the first time in my life.

Japan days.

My first snowfall day.

The days where Fafa kindness was the only support I had.

The weekend in Uluru.

The hours Jik and I spent in coffee shops in Hong Kong.

The time with LOL memories.

Quality times I spent with Amma and the moments of hugging her.

The day my Amma complimented me on my cousin’s engagement day.

Drinking Karak Chai in Dubai.

The nights I sat on the beach.

The hours I spent in the kitchen with my workmates – having lunch or just taking breaks.

The days I spent with Erwin and Vivi, rediscovering Jakarta.

The days and nights I spent with Thu just messing around while trying to figure out life.

My days in Singapore.

First dates. Second dates.

The days where I do very little but don’t feel guilty at all. The days when I do so much and feel a sense of accomplishment.

My post-grad days.

Sleepover nights.

My wedding days.

The day I realised I had all the support I needed in life.

The afternoon in Brisbane when we took an hour Uber-ride to eat good Indo food.

The day I discovered Serial podcast while travelling in Europe, which led into the true-crime rabbit hole.

The day I took Shinkansen for the first time, the second time and every single time after that.

The day I set up my blogs excitedly.

My last working day in Singapore.

Those are some of my best days—the ones I would love to redo. I realised now that most of them involve being surrounded by my loved ones, travelling and discovering myself. Here is to creating space in my life for more of those kinds of days.

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Writing

1000 Posts Later

I counted today (as an accountant it has been ingrained in me to count for fun), between this blog and Kulture Kween, I have written over 1000 posts.

As a late-bloom-blogger I have contemplated when to stop blogging as I have always believed that it’s not a forever thing. At least not for me. And one day in 2010s, I made a pact with my tired-of-blogging self that I am allowed to stop blogging once I passed the 1000 posts mark.

1000 posts seems like a significant enough number for me to refer to myself as a blogger.

After all, doesn’t it take 10000 hours to master something? 1000 posts means I have written for half of those hours. Does this means I am allowed to feel accomplished in blogging?

You would think that too, wouldn’t you?

I am feeling nothing as such.

First of all, I have called myself a blogger since I published a one-paragraph post in 2007 titled The Girl Behind The Blog. Here is a snippet of it:

I am the girl with her glasses and scrunchie, who sits on the corner of a coffee shop with a MacBook and a cup of tea, looking all busy but yawns now and then. This blog is my view of our shared world, my thoughts and myself. It’s filled with stories about friendships, experiences, dating, mistakes, family and, of course, love. It’s a goal in progress for me, to practice and be a better (and ultimately well-known) writer.

Zero originality. But it’s at least something. Also, I have so long stopped wearing scrunchies. Thank God for that!

Secondly, I feel far from accomplished. One thousand posts might seem a lot. But a 1000 posts with the majority of it being half-assed posts doesn’t seem all that great —especially when compared to the bloggers who I admire.

Maybe then I told myself, I should strive from another 1000 posts (this time no half-ass-ing) before calling it a day or a decade.

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Film Camera MjuII Kodak Ektar 100 Nine of Pentacles The Moon Void Tarot
Tarot

Channeling The Lady of Leisure with Nine of Pentacles

I had never given much interest on Nine of Pentacles until one day I saw it on This Might Hurt Tarot deck and read the description on the booklet. Then and here it’s crystallized in my mind that I want to be the lady in the Nine of Coins. That’s the energy I want to emulate in my life.

I started looking at other the Nine of Pentacles to see the different interpretations offered by other tarot decks. In the classic Rider Waite tarot deck, the Nine of Pentacles drawn as a lady in a robe holding a pet bird on her finger. It’s well, pretty irrelevant, which might be why the card never caught my attention before. But in This Might Hurt Tarot deck, it’s depicted as a girl reading a book in a garden.

I can relate to this image so much! It’s what my dream life looks like, precisely what I want to do in my leisure days.

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Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos
Photography

5 Frames Of.. Meletos Winery Staycation on Kodak ColorPlus 400

Our Meletos staycation at the end of last year turned out to be so-so only.

Although the weather was gorgeous that weekend, the winery was beautiful and their books collection was interesting; the food, the service and the room could be much better. I will write more about it soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the 5 frames of our winery stay which I took with Mjuii film camera using Kodak Colorplus 400.

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos Living Room
Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos Journal
Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos
Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos
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Seven of Wands Tarot Moon Void Tarot Crystals
Tarot

The Spacious Seven of Wands

With space as the guiding word for my year, I went through my tarot-mental Rolodex, to pick a card, which best represents space for me.

Not able to associate the space I have in mind with any major arcana cards (not even The Fool nor The World), I moved to the minor ones in sequence starting from the Wands suit. It was then it clicked, without needing to review the rest of the cards on the deck – the space energy I wish to invite for this year is represented in the Seven of Wands.

TBR, the Seven of Wands has never been a favorite – both as a Seven (I prefer Seven of Pentacles) nor in the Wands suit (I favor the Eight of Wands). It’s also the only Seven suits that I haven’t journal-ed about as I had never put much thought into it, until this week.

Also, the image of the card in the classic Rider Waite deck is not pretty. It shows a man, with mismatched shoes, standing on a higher ground, ready to fight other wands pointing at him. But then, when I envision conquering 2021 by claiming my space, I so want to be that man. Ready to defend my place, come what may!

In tarot, Seven of Wands traditionally means courage, persistence, competition, challenges. It can also be about:

Perseverance, defending one’s territory and expansion which for me translates to space, space and more space.

Space Word of the year 2021 Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne Victoria Australia
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Torii Gate Fushimi Inari Japan Miaw
Diary, Travel

Tethered to Japan

I miss Japan terribly. I have written about before. But the yearning for the land of the rising sun kept coming back, each time stronger than ever, when I can’t do anything about it. Yet.

I miss holding the sticky seaweed part of the onigiri before putting it into my mouth. I miss standing in front of the shrine, feeling both insignificant and blessed at the same time.

I miss hunting for a winter jacket in Harajuku because the one I brought wasn’t cool, thick, thin, long or basic enough.

I miss the back and forth bowing. I miss hunting interesting food and unique skin-care in the supermarket. I even miss the multi-purpose hotel spray.

And oh, don’t even let me start with the train! I miss the train, the train station and the long train rides.

I miss the familiar and tantalizing smell of coffee around the Good Day coffee shop on top of the Oshiage train station. I miss the calming voice in the speaker on the elevator, train and train station.

I even miss the tet..tet..tet.. sounding traffic light.

I miss how happy I am once I reach Japan. I miss the excitement of seeing the Torii Gates on the horizon. I miss finding kawaii stationary. I miss sitting down in the Starbucks, sipping coffee, writing my journal or simply reading a book or chit-chatting with Fafa. I miss spending hours in Kinokuniya bookstore. I miss eating rice burger for breakfast and strawberry cake for dessert.

I miss celebrating I miss celebrating New Year in Japan.

I miss roaming around Tsukiji fish market. I miss being an outsider while partaking in the culture. I miss learning and experiencing new and unusual things that are Japan.

I am tethered to Japan.

It’s the only pocket of the world that I obsess about. Which is not great since I still have the whole world to fall in love with. But as they say, the heart wants what it wants.

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