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04 July 2015 @ 12:01 pm

Some people call me Cass, some call me Yuwen, some call me names. Take your pick.

My journal is locked for a simple reason: To protect the privacy of my friends. (I figured not everyone likes getting their face plastered all over a public journal.) Oh, and also because I really shouldn't flood your f-list unnecessarily. Yes, I'm doing this out of the goodness of my pure heart and consideration for mankind.

If you promise me you're not a strange old man lingering on the web for private photos of other people, add me and I'll add you back quicker than you can say 'Why you de-friend me?'. I'll throw in a free chill pill.

If for some odd reason you're still interested in my absolutely un-entertaining and boring life, I can be found on various platforms:

tumblr; mostly regarding life in Tokyo
facebook; for those really interested
twitter; personal angst bin
; to ask me anything under the sun
wordpress; in case you feel compelled to give me some work

All posts made before August 5 are not friends-locked, so have fun.
17 November 2010 @ 08:25 pm
Before I left for Tokyo, I was talking to Yisha who just finished her stint in Tokyo University. She told me that while Tokyo was immensely exciting, after a while the fact that she was in Tokyo didn't matter as much as the people that she was in Tokyo with.

Funny thing is how I've always thought if I liked a place enough, I can create home there.

But if there's anything I've learned in the last two months, it's that it's people that make up your home, it's your friends that make up your sanity and you.

Don't get me wrong, I like Tokyo. I really do, however much I am annoyed with the rolls of red tape laid out for foreigners, I still like this place for its food, its fashion, its culture, its unique blend of past and present. I'm enjoying myself immensely (Oh, the food.) and I cannot ask for more. Okay, maybe just that it wouldn't be so cold so my cough would go away.

But this is a place that lends itself to solitude. This is a place where people I love are not at.

So while I'm a very happy exchange student here in Tokyo, I am an even happier girl who knows that even while she has left home, home has never left her. Pastor's emails, your emails, your facebook messages, your gchats and Bethany webteam's amazing ministry are very precious to me.

And while I miss those at home, I am grateful that I have found pieces of it here too. (pieces かな?) I have made friends with people whom I know will add to what I call home when I do finally return.

People who are experiencing the same cold and eating the same food as I am. People who asked after my cough, who make sure I am not dead. People who promised to help me guard my heart. People who watched me cry for ridiculous things but offered their strength. People who have vowed to never let me go hungry. People who have shown me an incredulous amount of hospitality. People who have made one of my biggest dreams come true.

To all these people, thank you.

Nothing can replace home, but while I'm here you are my home. And when I return, I hope you'll still be part of this wonderful part of me I call 家族.

(And ps, I update regularly okay. Just not here, at my tumblr. Don't complain.)
20 October 2010 @ 12:54 am
Prof Gotou said, "Kabuki is a continuous shift between reality, stage reality and fictional reality".

I think Kabuki catches my curiousity in ways other theatre forms have not managed to because of the ambiguity between character and actor. At some points in time, the story on stage seems almost insignificant in comparison to the actor on stage. That defies all Western theatre logic.

Prof Gotou explained the audience goes between three levels of reality: reality as we know it, stage reality as the consciousness of being in a theatre and fictional reality as the understanding and following of the story. Different kabuki theatre techniques are used to transport the audience between each reality during the performance.

I'm particularly intrigued by the phrase 'fictional reality' because at first glance it seems like an oxymoron. Yet if you pause and think about it, it actually makes complete sense. You know what you're experiencing is only a story, you know it's not real and it never stops you from feeling with the characters, from crying when they do, laughing when they laugh and feeling triumph when they are triumphant.

Isn't it the same when you read books, watch movies or follow drama serials? The stories are not yours, the lives not yours, the emotions not yours. And yet you reach out to wipe the proverbial tear at the end, or close the book/shut the television having attained catharsis.

Yet, people judge when we fangirl. Ever thought that perhaps our fandom is our fictional reality?

We know these idols are not perfect, we know everything we see is manufactured, we know we will never meet them and we know that they don't know we exist. But it doesn't stop us from feeling with them, from crying when they do, laughing when they laugh and feeling triumphant when they succeed.

Their success is also ours. (Considering that we are the ones paying money for their success.) The undeniable sense of pride we feel when we know their album sales have done well, when their concert tickets are going for 25 times the original price.

Like how your characters remain perfect because you don't know anything else but what is presented to you, the same goes for these boys we adore so much. A character will have a million and one interpretations from a million and one critics. An idol will be a different model for every different fan because we are different.

If it's alright for someone to be inspired by your favourite superhero, why is it wrong for me to be inspired by Sho to put my upmost effort in studying? Why is it less right for me to use him as a exemplary role model for intellectual thirst? How is, say Batman, any more real than Arashi?

You get away with crying because your favourite character in the book died or because the couple you were rooting for in the movie didn't end up together. Why do we get judged because we idolise someone? Is our fangirling not just a very long movie, or really thick book?

And I know one day, this very long movie or multi-chaptered book is going to come to a close. I know one day my heart will not be as excited when I see Arashi. I know one day I'll grow out of this.

But that doesn't discount what I've invested in this reality. Just because you leave the realm of fictional reality doesn't mean it was naught, it just means you've shifted into another realm of reality, wherever that may be.

But at the end of that book and that movie, you smile. At the end, I will also smile because I will recall some of the happiest days and nights I spent laughing at (sometimes along with) them.

But before I'm there, I am going to continue reading this book, continue rooting for my favourite characters and hope the ending is still a long way to come. 

(By the way, you'll notice I'll be quoting Prof Gotou a lot because quotes just roll off his tongue. This guy would make every journalist a very happy interviewer.)
05 August 2010 @ 12:14 am
Dearest Debbie, お帰りなさい!
Oh man, it's incredible how much I missed all the laughing at random things till we bend over in stitches. I am really really very happy that you're back.
01 August 2010 @ 08:09 pm

Bless the soul of the art director of the new album art. Dorky Arashi is the fastest pick me up.
(Scan credit to ANJ)
Current Music: Arashi - ギフト
31 July 2010 @ 07:03 pm

It's one of those weeks where you feel like you don't even have time for yourself.

I only ran once because the other times I'm either genuinely caught up with work or just too exhausted to move. I've been running around our island for interviews and press conferences and even my colleagues didn't see me a whole lot the entire week.

I love my job, the busyness, but I sometimes did wish the load was more balanced. Case in point: I have absolutely nothing on next week.

At times like that, I'm glad I can still find joy in the little things - like being able to conquer all these appointments in my favourite pair of sneakers. (Yes, I know they look like school shoes.) And that I finally managed to take a photo with our beloved merlion.

my week in picturesCollapse )
25 July 2010 @ 12:01 am

Have you ever seen a stylist get lazy as he dresses up a band?

Case in point: Arashi in this Hitachi CM. Please look from left to right: From Sho's whole elaborate scarf thing going on to Jun's top and pants. I'm amused. Oh, and I'm also now desperately lusting after Ohno's whole outfit. Too cute.

Video credit to arashi_no_jidai 
24 July 2010 @ 12:01 am
Photobucket Photobucket

Actually, we are sisters. We are sisters doing the Chocolate Disco choreography. And yes, the song is stuck in our heads.

what were we thinkingCollapse )
21 July 2010 @ 10:54 am
あなたは 超うざい!

Some people really don't deserve my time.
20 July 2010 @ 10:56 pm

We were invited for a media tasting session at Kiseki, the newest Japanese buffet in town. It offers 200 over choices of Japanese foods and was designed to look like an old Japanese street.

It isn't exactly authentic Japanese cuisine, it's what Singaporeans think is Japanese food. And I think that's good enough to satisfy the many hungry souls on this island.

There was so much food, I ate so much, I thought I was going to burst.

food, glorious foodCollapse )