There’s a reason the word history contains the word STORY

Originally posted on Brain Goes Bleugh:

So I just got back from Convention, and other than the multitude of bruises, the terrible yet fantastic life decisions, the 3am pancakes and the lack of a voice I also got to listen to some of the most amazing speakers.

Unfortunately, I did not make it to as much of academic as I would have liked to, blame it on a combination of alcohol, late nights and badly behaved rangers. I was always at the Convention centre but never at Academic, go figure.

But luckily I made it to two apparently best plenary lectures . Dr Kathryn Fox is a physician who has channeled her creative energies into becoming an award winning author. She still practices but a little less these days. What she spoke about resonated so much with me, even at the un-godly (for Convention) hour of 9am. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a background, a…

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Review: “The Fault In Our Stars” – 4/10

This isn’t going to be one of those perfectly angled intense book reviews, but a few of my personal thoughts on “The Fault In Our Stars” written by John Green. I’m not even going to give you a brief summary of the story or anything, so if you haven’t read the book, this post might not be for you. Also, spoiler alert ***

Just a disclaimer – I’ve read the book but haven’t watched the movie (and I don’t particularly wish to in the future either).

So let’s jump right in. I’ll start by saying that I think John Green is a good writer, even though I personally didn’t enjoy his story so much. I wasn’t even halfway through the book when I was finding Hazel too annoying too often to not roll my eyes at, and found both she and Augustus pretentious. They sounded like they knew everything about everything, things that nobody else in the world did. Now, character flaws aren’t a bad thing, I appreciate them as much as their strengths because that’s what makes them real and relatable. Like I said, it wasn’t bad writing on Green’s part, but my experience through reading this book was that their “negative traits” (negative in my eyes; somehow I doubt that “pompous and teenager-y” was what Green was aiming for, they were probably just intelligent kids in his eyes) stood out way more than their positive. These kids were a lot less mature then they thought they were, just as most teenagers are, I guess. If, however, it were Green’s intention to so subtly incorporate their adolescent attributes into the story – then hats off to you, sir, that was pretty clever.

Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is that for me, the fact that they were such annoying teenagers was way more prominent than their romance or seemingly-introspective opinions. People also seems to really buy into cancer love stories. I’m sorry if this makes me a cold person or whatever, but I could not master up any sense of compassion for their “romance” at all. But I take the blame for that, I am no romantist and I think lovey-dovey couple-y stuff are thoroughly gross and over-rated and too private and rude and yuck, to paraphrase a line from Louie (which, by the way, is the most quotable TV show, ever). I don’t have anything against other people who enjoy these sort of stuff though, but I guess this discussion is for another time.

Everyone has their own taste in literature, and this simply was not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate that those who are into this genre of books may like it.

Also, I was more interested in Peter Van Houten’s story than Hazel or Gus’s. I hope I am not alone here.

I haven’t seen the movie but have watched the trailer though, and Shailene Woodley was definitely a lot less annoying than Hazel in the book. So props to you, Woodley! (I am so tempted to talk about her public stance that she is “not a feminist” but supports gender equality, but not this time. But can I just say, I am sick and tired of celebrities claiming not to be a feminist but says they want equality in all…it’s sad that feminism has such a bad rep and is so stigmatised.)

So yeah, that’s my overall view on this book. Let me know how you felt if you’ve read it too.

Community Season-6 and TV List

So I kind of feel like doing a list-log today. Hmm what should it be on…I mean, I love TV shows, but then there’s also TV shows to talk about. And just the other day I was talking about TV shows, and guess what, all I really want to talk about is TV shows.

So let’s start from the big news – COMMUNITY IS BACK!!! Hallelujah, mankind, let us all rejoice that this awesome show is returning via Yahoo! Screen and operation #SixSeasonsAndAMovie is finally in action! Ooooh yes. YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!! Delta Cubes for life, baby XD

Alright now, on with my list. Here are some of my favourite TV shows/characters/episodes/etc. from various categories:

  • Ultimate All-Time Favourite: 1. Scrubs; 2. The Office (US version).
  • All-Time Favourite Thriller: Breaking Bad.
  • Currently-Running Sit-Com: Parks and Recreation.
  • Currently-Running Drama: Game of Thrones.
  • Most Excited for Next Season: Community.
  • Favourite Quotes: Louie.
  • Favourite Female Character – Drama: Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Favourite Female Character – Comedy: 1. Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon from 30 Rock; 2. Mindy Kaling’s Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project.
  • Favourite Male Character – Drama: Bryan Cranston’s Walter White from Breaking Bad.
  • Favourite Male Character – Comedy: Steve Carell’s Michael Scott from The Office.
  • Most-Watched Favourite Episode: My Musical (s06 e06) from Scrubs.
  • First-Ever TV Show I Started Following – Drama: Grey’s Anatomy.
  • First-Ever TV Show I Started Following – Comedy: Friends.
  • Canon OTP – Comedy: Turk & J.D. from Scrubs.
  • Canon OTP – Drama: Cristina Yang and Owen Hunt from Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Crack Ship: J.D. and Keith Dudemeister from Scrubs.
  • Guilty Favourite: Glee.
  • Already Finished But Finally Catching Up: Arrested Development.
  • TV Show I Used To Enjoy But Is Beginning To Deteriorate: The Big Bang Theory.

I think that pretty much summarises where I’m at with my TV shows at the moment. I usually follow between 20 and 30 shows at the same time, so there’s definitely many others I’d like to talk about but that’s for another time.

 

7 Billion Gluttonous Godzillas vs. Earth

For the past month or so, thoughts about how we’re basically destroying the world with every step we take have been haunting me every single day. It’s not that I’ve never been environmentally conscious until now, but it’s really been getting under my skin lately and I haven’t been able to see true happiness as a possibility anymore. I just can’t see how I could have a positive outlook on life in the bigger picture, if everything I do is harm the Earth. It’s not that I’m a grim person 24/7 – I laugh, I do fun things, but these are just distractions, not happiness.

It’s not that I think I’m significant enough to matter. I know I’m not here to change the universe. And yet, I’m disgusted at myself. Disgusted that I am contributing to numerous kinds of pollution, deforestation, global warming, animal cruelty and so on. A more balanced way of looking at this issue might be to do what I can to minimise these things and live with it. Well, that is kind of what I do for the most part, but even then, I have this constant turmoil churning inside my head. Below are some relevant inner dialogues I have on a daily basis:

“Do I really need to use tissue paper?”

“Wow, look at all that shampoo/detergent/etc. running into the drain….”

“I hate that I’m contributing to this consumerist market, but I don’t even have the guts to be less materialistic.”

“Do I really need to use the heater?”

“I know it’s not practical to ride on motorised vehicles, but….”

And this goes on forever. I hate that I buy packaged foods. I hate that I’m not 100% vegan. I hate that I use aerosol sprays. You get the idea.

I wish there were some way to rationalise this argument and arrive at a solution that I can personally implement. I don’t even know how to feel about these things anymore. I wish I could compartmentalise and do what I can not to aggravate these issues, but go on with my life and be happy about it as well. I kind of want to stop thinking, “I give up, I just hope the human species would stop procreating so we can die out as soon as possible”. I wish I knew what to do.

The White Balance Of American TV

As much as I’m a big fan of American TV, someone’s got to sooner challenge the tradition of all their main protagonists being white. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy them very much, in fact, I love them so very dearly…but would TV shows be less successful if their line-ups were less white? (This is not a rhetorical question – please do enlighten me if you know anything about it.)

Take for example, say, Breaking Bad. Now, what would have happened, if Walter White had an Indian background, with perfect English, and the same sort of social status and personality as Walter White? I’m not saying this has to be the case for every single TV shows out there, but the fact is, they’re way too rare at this point. Think about American actors who are not, or at least don’t look white. The chances that they would be hired as a protagonist for a tv show has significantly dropped already at that point. I’m not trying to blame this on anyone, it’s just a product of the society that we have today. Having said that, it certainly would be nice to start seeing some changes out there.

I’m hoping there will be enthusiastic producers out there, who would find this an amusing challenge to rise up to, rather than treating it as a heavy, self-important topic that needs to be confronted because “it’s the right thing to do”. Come on, where’s the fun in that? Ladies and gentlemen, be colour-brave.

20 Questions / Mindy Kaling

Huge, huge fan of Mindy Kaling here. I won’t divulge into the 1001 reasons why she is absolutely fabulous and my favourite person at the moment, but I was just watching a video of her doing a one-on-one panel interview for Marie Claire magazine, and her answers to their “20 questions” kind of inspired me to do them myself. Some of these questions don’t really apply to me/aren’t so interesting if I answer them because I’m not a celebrity, but I went ahead anyway. So here it goes. [Here's the video if you're also a fan of hers and want to check it out]:

 

1. What brings you the greatest joy? TV shows.

2. What is your pet peeve? Close-mindedness.

3. What is the best advice you’ve been given? Breathe. If it hurts, feel it. Feeling your pain won’t destroy you. This too, shall pass.

4. What app can you not live without? Podcast/Audible.

5. What TV show can’t you miss? At the moment, Community. Really sad they’re discontinuing the show though. Six seasons and a movie, no more. #darkesttimeline

6. What movie had the greatest ending? A. I. Artificial Intelligence.

7. What is on your liquor shelf? Not an alcohol person, but I do have a pretty neat tea shelf.

8. What is your greatest indulgence? Collecting TV culture memorabilia.

9. What charities do you support? I’m going to use the get-out-of-jail-free card here by saying that I’m a student who currently has no job, but say that I support celebrating all cultures and backgrounds and treating them with respect. Individuality rules!

10. Who do you follow on Twitter? @mindykaling, of course, but some of my other favourite accounts are @vdoozer (Bill Lawrence), @robertmaschio, @zachbraff.

11. Who are your heroes? Marya Hornbacher.

12. What is your beauty secret? Wish I had one. Does yoga count?

13. What splurge is well worth it? Again, a student’s wallet we’re talking about here.

14. What is on your nightstand? Candle, hand lotion, lip balm, “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green.

15. What is on your bookshelf? “One More Thing” by B. J. Novak.

16. What is your favourite food? Coconuts. Anything and everything to do with coconuts.

17. What makes you laugh? My brother. The one person I know in real life who cracks me up all the time.

18. What makes you cry? Texting Mum. Sometimes I start crying for no particular reason, when I’m talking to her.

19. What is on your feet? Flip flops. Because it’s Australia.

20. What was your favourite vacation? Kerala, India, March 2013. Hands down, the happiest days of my life so far.

Again, some of these questions were weird for a random student like me to answer, but overall, it was fun. You should do the list if you’re also into fun quizzes, or you’re like me and like being nosy about other people’s lives.