Plenty of Bunnies who are Jerks too

The other day, I was talking to a friend about Zootopia. He didn’t like it. I was like WHAT?!?!? In fact, he said it was a story that has been told time and time again and it was boring. BORING?!?! The proverbial tale that we’re all different yet the same, that there’s always more than meets the eye and change starts with me – the individual.

Ok, I do agree with that. It isn’t a new story and you do have to be careful of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Except in Zootopia it’s the harmless cute sheep you have to keep an eye on. Yet it is a tale as achingly relevant in our 21st century as it was a hundred years, heck a thousand years ago. Kinda like how To Kill a Mockingbird can’t go out of style.

In a Trump Presidency world where fear led by ignorance creeps into every facet of our lives, I take heart that in a seemingly children’s tale like Zootopia we needed the effervescent bunny, Judy Hopps to remind us that someone can be ” a jerk who happened to be a fox. I know plenty of bunnies who are jerks.” In my last 42 years of my life, I’ve learnt that no one race, religion, gender, sexuality or age has dips on being a douche. Everyone can be a douche and if you take the time to have an open dialogue, get to know the person, you or at least I’ve come to realise that they can be as big a douchebag as I can be and in the greater scheme of things, they are capable of being kind, honest and supportive as I try to be everyday.

So I remind myself as much as I don’t like having to share this world with rude self-serving douchebags, the rest of us decent functional beings have to make the best of what we’ve got. The alternative reminds me of a sad tribe in the last season of The Walking Dead – hiding, pretending that we don’t exist as the douchebags try and take over the world. We just can’t have that and with more meaningful words of Judy Hopps,

“Real life is a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us.”

That’s my theme for this week – how can I make it start with me?

zootopia-wallpaper-cover

 

Choosing Peace and Love

Every now and then I come across something or someone making a change that I want to see in the world.  It inspires me to be the change I continually want to see happening.

If a son of a terrorist can choose peace and love, I can’t expect anything lesser of myself.

The Ability to Give

Over the Chinese New Year weekend, my dear friend , Claire and her family didn’t think twice to help a couple who needed it.  In their own words, Claire shares how each of us in our own ways can change the world we live in.

Yesterday evening while we were on our way for a CNY visit, we saw this old couple stuck by the side of Opera Estate along Siglap road. For those of you who know the area, the roads are very slopey and not at all conducive for pushing a wheelchair. We quickly stopped our car and Pann got out to help the uncle. The wheelchair was in a bad condition and was unable to be maneuvered properly. Eventually the tire gave way and Pann had to call a taxi to send the couple home. We could not stop thinking about them the whole night.

Today, we spoke to Renn and Aira and we decided to use all our Ang Pow money to buy the old couple a new wheelchair. We knew the block they were staying at but had no idea which floor nor unit. We were very lucky to be able to locate the old auntie and eventually got to the uncle. And we realised they had no relatives keeping in touch with them in their one room flat.

They were so happy and surprise to receive the present along with some Ang Pows.

This got to be one of the best days knowing that the kids were very passionate about helping others because Chinese New Year is not about receiving Ang Pows but sharing with others.

I was fortunate to be part of the CNY visit that very night and they shared the story with us before it went viral online.  We got the low down scoop on how their giving led to others giving too.  The cab driver that took Pann and the couple back didn’t charge them for the ride either.  The story even gather enough interest to be picked up by the local publications 🙂

For me, I love the fact that a simple story about giving and sharing love made its way around.  I love that it isn’t just depressing or hateful stories that run amok online.  I love that I’m blessed enough to have friends who remind me that living is about sharing, giving and filling it with moments of love.  I also love how the Year of the Horse is starting off in my world.

Surprises and Mondays

I do like surprises, good unexpected things that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  I chanced upon this video recently that did exactly that.

It isn’t always that you get a fairly young seemingly doofus type Hollywood character dishing out sound advice.  I now know Chris Ashton Kutcher’s parents did well by him and why despite what looks like a crazy life in Hollywood, he seems to be doing alright.  Maybe not having an entitled childhood help, no matter, it isn’t easy keeping it real in the real world much less in Hollywood so kudos to him for trying his darn-est to be better.

While he was directing his advice to teens, it’s a good reminder for the rest of us, the real old folks.  As we get older, we forget that opportunity truly comes disguised as work usually very hard work.  The being sexy part is so true and does become clearer when you get older, you realise how some people draw you to them by the sheer fact that they have big hearts and minds and not a six pack or a plunging neck line.  Lastly, yes yes yes, we fill our lives with so many moments that distract us and merely live that we’ve forgotten that we can build the lives we want.  It isn’t easy but like he said opportunity is hard work and that’s what I have this Monday morning, yet another opportunity to build the life I want 🙂  Now where’s that construction helmet of mine? *humming Bob The Builder theme song in my head*

The Scarecrow

It’s no secret that I’m a vegetarian that borders on being vegan.  The jury is still out for me when it comes to bees and honey so I can’t honestly say I’m vegan.  There are many reasons why I’m vegetarian and mostly it comes from an awareness that I didn’t have before.  When something is made clear to you, it’s kinda hard to ignore and that’s why being vegetarian hasn’t been difficult for me at all.  So when I chanced upon this campaign, I was reminded about my answer when people ask me if I’ll ever stop being vegetarian.

I’ll stop being vegetarian when I’m prepared to kill the animal I want to eat.

Yes yes yes, the FaceBook guy said this too.  For the record, I said it way before he made it popular but it’s totally possible he said it to his friends before I ever thought it.  It really doesn’t matter who said it first but I understand what he means.  Like the Game of Thrones pilot episode where Ned Stark was teaching his young son about accountability, “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

Back to the campaign, I did like Chipotle when I tried it but I’m not entirely sure they are totally fresh food served at its best.  Nonetheless, it’s a great branding exercise and will make me seek out a Chipotle the next time I’m near one so I guess it worked 🙂

One day I hope I can put my name on something like that too.

Candy Sugar Drop Reporting on Easter

It’s no April Fool’s Day joke and apparently my Easter name, that’s if you believe this:-

Besides acquiring a name that could be useful if I wanted to be … say … an exotic dancer, I had a wonderful Easter like I do every year.  It is my favourite holiday in the religious calendar, yes, even more than Christmas.  For some reason to me, it’s a tad less commercial and a very spiritual time for me.  Starting with the Easter Triduum on Maundy Thursday right through to the celebrations on Easter Sunday, it’s a time of the year I reflect a little more, listen more to my soul and remember what it is all about.

Love.

The new Pope Francis reminded us when he included for the first time ever, Muslims and women in an age old tradition – washing of the feet at the last supper.  A part of me is ashamed it took us this long and the other part swelled with pride that it is never to late to change for the better 🙂

I also love the fact that I live in a time that Christians and non-Christian alike, we all know the power of love and at the core of every good being, good intention, good thought, good deed it is love.  Some times we succeed and other times we don’t.  We just keep trying.  Every Easter, I am reminded of what Jesus said at the last supper with His apostles:-

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:34

That to me is why I love Easter and ever since I was 11, I decided even if I never remember anything else in the Bible, I will remember this one line.  I love this verse so much, it was even one of the readings at my wedding!!  I’ve come to realise, cut away everything else, the traditions, the rituals, the pomp and circumstance, the insignificant differences, we’re all the same – we just want to love and be loved.

I hope you and your family had a blessed Easter and a wonderful holiday.  May all your days be filled with memories of LOVE 🙂

bLAh bLAh bLAh

Last year, big brother Renn had his solo exhibition – Renn Lim by Renn Lim.  This year his little sister, Aira joins him and together they let music inspire them and their creations for bLAh bLAh bLAh.

In the midst of a crazy work week and after a little detour, do not confuse Tanjong Katong with Tanjong Pagar, I made it in time for their opening night!!

Part of the charm of the night was the kids.  Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for little people.  When you put a bunch of them in one space and I’m a happy camper 🙂

 The littlest of them all was dear Lucy who gave me a big wave when I first saw her on the way to the bathroom.  She was inspired enough to do a little drawing herself.  Potted around and climbed up next to Shell all on her own.  She even had, what I suspect is a first date 😉

If your mothers are standing by and watching, is it still considered a first date?

Even with the kids around, I managed to find my favourite pieces for the night.  I’m amazed how much Renn has grown as an artist.

You can see the improvement on his skills and the maturity of his vision.  He may not eventually choose to be an artist as a career but he’ll always be an artist in his heart.  Sure, he’s a kid and for now, given a choice will choose the iPad over his brushes but when you see the world like he does, whether it’s a wacom stylus, a traditional paint brush or just imagination, it’s a little more fun to navigate 🙂

His 6 year old sister impressed me too!!  We always knew she had a flair for the dramatics and may possibly be a pop icon in her own time but now we know she can control a pencil  and yields it to no one.

I had such a blast that I brought my munchkins back on another night.

I love that I can bring them to an art gallery where they get to see their friends, hang out and get to learn about art too.  I think they were all mostly having fun playing in an art gallery, which doesn’t always happen for them :p  While the big ones hung out and chased each other around.  Little Rach was inspired and chose to keep herself busy being an artist herself.

One of Aira’s classmate came by while we were there too and guess what? Lo and behold, she shares the same birthday as Aira and Mabes!!

They are no means the same but have a similar energy and a penchant for dramatics 🙂  You just might be looking at the first picture of Singapore’s girl group hit!!  We can call them July 17 :p  Ok ok ok, as a bias aunt I can get carried away.  They all had so much fun hanging out that my munchkins asked when were the next time we’ll be seeing R+A again 🙂

I live for moments like these.

Well done R+A!!  Your diligence and talents to make bLAh bLAh bLAh possible are rare and inspire me to get my own film done.  Thank you both so much and congratulations on a wonderful exhibition!!

Dysfunctional Beings

I’ve been reading about adoption lately and have stumbled on a couple of adult adoptees’ blogs.  It is tough having been abandoned by your parents and that leaves you scars that only other adoptees can understand.  I can’t even begin to relate but I know of the effects.  I have love ones who have been abandoned by their parents.  For that, I know very well how insidious the effects are and will never wish it on anyone.

I’ve come to learn though, no one can corner the market on being dysfunctional.  We all are at some level and trust me any one who says they aren’t, are probably more dysfunctional than the rest of us.  We all have reasons why we are all a little weird, some more than others but truly no one is normal.  I don’t even know what that means.

Normal.

This post isn’t meant to belittle the pain that people have suffered and resulted in inabilities to lead a normal life.  Their pain is real and so is mine.  It is how we deal with our dysfunctions that sets us apart.  Here’s where I get inspired.  I never knew that being abandoned by your parents and having been raised by people trying their best (like my parents trying their best) can leave you with questions, doubt and guilt that can be paralyzing.  Yet adult adoptees all over the world, pick themselves up everyday and try to deal with insecurities as best as they can.  Everyday they do their best at being normal.

That’s what I figured normal is – trying our best.  Not by society’s standard, not by your neigbours standard, heck, not by anyone else’s standards.  By the example of my parents and through their support I’ve learnt I just have to wake up every day and just keep trying my best.  Some days I get it and other days I don’t.  I still get up.  Why?

Simply because my parents had me when they were 19 and 20, what did they know about being parents?  They simply did their best with what they knew or didn’t know every step of the way.  Some days it was good enough and some days it wasn’t but they gave it all they had everyday.  I got lucky with parents.  I am dysfunctional but in ways, I truly can’t complain about.   My husband sometimes think my dysfunctions are why he is entertained with me.  Like I said, I got lucky.

I’m far from normal but I try everyday.  I like to think it’s the same for everyone 🙂

Kony and Invisible Children

If you haven’t heard of either, you haven’t been online lately, especially online news.  Come April 20th in a month, people will make sure that you hear of them.

That morning, I’m going to wish 3 dear friends of mine, Miss Chan, Daph and Cherry Happy Birthday 🙂

After that, I’ll go on to my other social networking accounts and link to this post, which I never do … I’m still wondering if it’s going to be a public post.  We’ll see.

I first heard about Kony from a twitter video link sent by my cousin on March 7, 2012.  I’m definitely not of the Facebook generation because I resisted RTing it, liking the video, sharing it.  I needed to find out more before I came to any conclusion.  Why?

I’m a filmmaker myself … well, at least I was once before.

I know how easy it is to drum up emotions through editing seemingly meaningless images and sound clips together.  When a cute little toddler wants to squash Kony, you can’t help but feel you can too.  So I tread carefully when it comes to call for action videos, especially ones filled with bravado that rivals Braveheart.  Didn’t you want to be a Scott when Mel Gibson yelled out, “They can take our lives but they can’t take our freedom!!”  You see where I’m going here.

So I’ve been reading as much as I can about Joseph Kony and the organization, Invisible Children.  Here are some of the links, if you’re interested:-

  1. Just another view http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble
  2. Invisible Children’s response but not official http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/
  3. Here’s the official http://allafrica.com/stories/201203080906.html
  4. Who is Kony http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony
  5. Yet another view http://chrisblattman.com/2009/03/04/visible-children/
  6. No one is perfect, especially when a magnifying glass is on you http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/16/kony-2012-campaigner-detained
  7. If you can give it, always be prepared to take it http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story Life is never fair.
  8. Both side now http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/anti-kony-video-campaign-draws-criticism-uganda-15885083#.T2iNzmJKrfJ

In summary, Kony is an asshole.  Seriously, I’m up for anything to stop that dude.  Hey, I’m up for anything to stop any asshole.  I just have to remember that every asshole has a story and he has one too.  Does it justify his cause?  Not in my opinion.  If you cut into my lane while driving because your wife was curt with you this morning.  I’ll let it slide and hope the rest of your day goes better.  When you hide behind children for your own cause, Lord help you because you shouldn’t be afraid of the military that is after you.  You should be afraid of ever being in the same room as me.  Ask my husband and he may make a video to save you from me but children, for crying out loud … makes me hope to get in a room with you just thinking about it … I’m not sure of much but Joseph Kony, I am sure you will meet your maker one day.

Invisible Children.  Here’s my thoughts, they are like most American organisations I know about and I do not mean it in a critical way, they just are.  As a supporter, just know who you are supporting, if you do and choose to support them, power to you who give these causes what they need to keep going.  If you don’t know much about them, you owe yourself to find out and make an informed decision.  I did say before life is complicated.

For me, thank you Invisible Children, I would have not known about Kony otherwise.  Much less delve into him as much as I have in the past couple of weeks.  That is the key objective of their Kony2012 campaign, creating awareness and I believe it has achieved it with me  On April 20th, I will make an extra effort to help out their cause, they may not be perfect in how they run (no one usually is) but their heart is in the right place. When it is appropriate I’m going to keep sharing about Kony even after April 20. If possible, I would like to see if there is anyone helping these children’s rehabilitation, I would like to create awareness about that and see if they can get help too.  I have tried to search but I can’t find how I can help these children rehabilitate back into normal life.

The opening of the film is true, there is nothing more powerful than an idea.  Here’s mine, I’m going to keep from developing asshole behaviours myself.  That’s my pledge, it may be hard for me to catch assholes but I can stop being one myself.  Also, where I can, I’ll try and help children everywhere and anywhere.  Oh yah and animals too 🙂  On my little island home, I may not be able to affect the ongoings in the US or Africa but I can help some children right here in Singapore.  One of my favourite is Club Rainbow, so as you spread the word about Kony, feel free to give a hand to these kids too.

For the record too, I’m not going to go all Rambo and hunt the world’s most wanted.  Just in case, you never know the ideas people get from reading my sometimes exaggerated opinions filled with bravado.

Jeremy Lin

Who’s that?  If you’re asking, basketball is not your game.  He’s the first Asian American in the NBA and BTW, he is also a Harvard graduate … apparently no one  from Haravrd has been in the NBA for 60 years!!  Linsanity is what is taking the NBA world by storm.  I’m just relishing the fact that when all this was happening, I remember a YouTube celebrity that I watch from time to time, Kevjumba.  In truth, his Dad is the one that seriously cracks me up but to me, here’s why the Linsanity is even better.

He’s a regular kid whose dreams are coming true.  Did it happen overnight?  No, like most other successes in the world … nothing, despite what the newspaper say, happens over night.  Hard work and opportunity kinda have to happen for success to explode.  When it all clicks together, it’s hard to remember that someone/something way bigger than us makes it possible and keeps it real.  Jeremy seems to have remembered and that to me makes him more inspirational than the regular Joe making the best of an opportunity.  Humility is rare in the 21st century and even more rare for a young man in his 20s.  For that, move over Kobe and the Lakers, I’m a Knicks convert now 🙂  Go Jeremy!!