søndag, februar 22, 2009

25 random things about me

Okay, so I've been asked to write 25 random facts about myself. This just further confirms my suspicion that some of you out there are just simply dying to find out more about me, because I'm such a enigma shrouded by a miasma of mystery, because my quiet personality seductively eludes all deliberate attempts at deeper understanding. So I shall now partake in this activity to satisfy your insatiable curiousity, because I'm narcissistic like that.

[Update: So, erm, I just realised that I'm supposed to pass this around and ask another 5 people to do it. My 5 unfortunate victims are: Chee Chee, The Chemistry Goddess, Coropo, Fifi the Magical Unicorn and Ah Mah.]

1. If this world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel, then it must be a tragicomedy to me. Sometimes the beauty of life overwhelms me so immensely that I feel breathlessly amazed, but sometimes I get so astounded by the level of stupidity exhibited by mankind that I really feel that humanity is utterly hopeless. It makes me smirk.

2. I often make very cynical remarks and adorn them with a huge dose of sarcasm, but actually I suspect that deep down inside I'm essentially an idealist. I feel moral outrage and sadness when I witness injustice; I feel extremely touched whenever I see people taking pride in their ideals and displaying perseverance in pursuing dreams that would make our world a more loving place. Their contagious optimism and their courage to hope invite not mockery but admiration, because they continue to have faith despite a series of debilitating disappointments, because reality has not made them weary but has instead only made them more steadfast in their convictions, because they believe so wholeheartedly that we are all gifted with the capacity to love, and that all we need is just patience and encouragement. Sometimes I laugh mercilessly at them for being so gullible, but maybe I am the one who deserves scorn, because I have conceded defeat and I have allowed reality to exhaust my spirit, while they have not. They persist in marching arduously on, down the long and winding road to progress, while I am left standing behind in unspeakable solitude, measuring the increasingly insurmountable gap in the distance between us.

3. So, I suppose I am really an idealist, but my idealism is grounded in the battered reality; but at the same time I am a cynic, because I am too painfully aware that life always falls short of my quixotic expectations. Maybe I am the hybrid of extremes, the paradox, the fusion of polar opposites - defying boundaries, ridiculing dichotomies.

4. I want to live my life in a relentless pursuit of Truth, even though there may be things that reside forever beyond the scope of our comprehension and that constantly evade our grasp. On my deathbed I want to be confident that I have lived with intellectual integrity, so that I can pass away with the comforting knowledge that I have not compromised the dignity of Truth, that I have always given Truth the respect it fully deserves. Truth is too precious to be ignored or twisted - when it appears in front of me I cannot stop staring at it; I cannot avert my eyes from it and pretend that it is not there, even though blissful ignorance might give me more happiness.

5. Not all emotions have to be productive in tangible terms. Not all anger has to lead to action that would effect changes. If nothing else, it enriches your inner emotional life. If we should have feelings only when they can result in calculable impacts, we would be devoid of the very essence that makes us sentient beings.

6. Now, something about my personal life. I am extraordinarily silent when it comes to my private affairs, but I guess there is no harm in sharing this: I am currently involved in a romantic relationship with someone, and we have been dating each other exclusively for the past three years. We met in a library. I was reading a book when he/she came over and asked if I wrote poetry. From there, one thing led to another, and here we are now. I will not reveal anything else about my partner, so don't bother trying to find out his/her nationality, occupation, age, and whatnot. If I am in a good mood I may tell you a little more, but otherwise I will most probably ask you politely to kindly mind your own business.

7. I seriously think that I was born in the wrong country - if not because of the government which espouses principles with which I strongly disagree, then because of the infernal weather. I absolutely adore winter wear - I think scarves, boots and winter coats are really lovely things, but unfortunately I cannot wear them here. Actually, strictly speaking, I can, but for your information I have not lost my last modicum of sanity yet (despite the title of my blog), and I don't want to cook myself slowly to death.

8. I am trying my best to be a more generous person, because kindness surpasses intellect - it expands our spirits beyond the narrow confines of our selves, such that our hearts eventually come to embrace others. Kindness empowers us with a wonderful feeling, and it encompasses the world with beauty. The tremendous lack of kindness in this world has made me a cynic, but perhaps, by finding kindness within myself, I would be able to heal some of the wounds I carry with me, and to inspire hope, however frail and little, in other people as well.

9. At the same time, I believe that kindness can be reduced to nothing if it is not tempered with wisdom. Men have done many wrongs - the wrong approaches they adopt, despite their kind intentions, have given birth to their mistakes. I sincerely believe that George Bush is a patriotic man who truly wanted the best for his country, but because he lacked the requisite wisdom to guide his conduct, his policies have incurred more wrath than gratitude.

10. Cultivating intellectual integrity establishes the foundation of wisdom. It does not guarantee wisdom, but it makes sure that we are on the right track. At least this is what I think.

11. I want to devote my love to just one person till the end of my life. Perhaps I sound hackneyed, overly dreamy and even anachronistic (considering the age we live in); but I think learning to love and to make sacrifices is one of the most enriching lessons in life, and having just one soulmate till the end of time is an ineffably poetic notion. When you love someone, he/she becomes your responsibility, a burden you delight in shouldering, a weight that counters the unbearable lightness of being, because now your existence is bigger than yourself - it has meaning; it touches another person; it makes you wonder where the world ends and where paradise comes into being. When you love someone, his/her joy fills your soul with laughter, and his/her sadness mists your eyes. Why would anyone be so crazy to want a responsibility like that?

12. Even though I hope to love just one person till the day I depart, I know only too well that life does not always go the way I want it to. Circumstances and people inevitably change, and sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we cannot salvage things, prevent them from petering out, or prolong them without suffering. Sometimes, if we are lucky, changes take place in perfect alignment with one another, paralleling with immaculate precision, and lovers stay faithfully together through the ravages of time. I can only hope for life to be kind to me.

13. I have never told the people around me that I love them. My pride gets in the way; and when your heart is so full of joy in their company, with the utterance of each of these three words, the intensity of your feelings just comes out woefully diminished. Words are inadequate, but I know that they are sometimes necessary to assure others of their importance to me, so I am going to say this here, just this once: I love you; and I hope you'll always remember this, and forgive me unreservedly when I hurt you, because sometimes I forget this myself, and do really stupid things which I will eventually come to regret.

14. D.H. Lawrence wrote, "Some sort of perversity in our souls... makes us not want, get away from, the very thing we want. We have to fight against that." There exists such a perversity in my soul, and I have to fight against that, lest it consumes me whole, and destroys everything that is sacrosanct in my life.

15. I prefer keeping my social circles distinct from one another. I would rather that they do not mingle. I am scattered; each group of friends possesses a different piece of me in the jigsaw puzzle that forms my identity, and instead of wanting them to fit all these pieces together to gain a finished picture of me, I would rather keep my various cliques separate, because I do not want to allow some of them to have access to additional information about me. So if I have no reservations about introducing you to some of my closest friends, then you know that you occupy a relatively more special place in my heart than others.

16. I do not have a favourite colour. Like Proust, I believe that beauty lies not in individual colours but in the harmony of hues, in the consonance of shades - sometimes kaleidoscopic, sometimes simple and pure, but always pleasing and aweinspiring.

17. There are many reasons why I do not want children - e.g., I am terrified of having to endure labour pain, I don't think I will be a responsible mother, I find kids very annoying in general, et cetera. But I guess the main reason is this: My children will have no say at all in whether they want to come into this world. Of course, perhaps they will lead such fulfilling lives that they thank me gratefully for making the right choice for them, but I'd still rather not make such fateful decisions.

18. I am a huge sucker for movies with historical backdrops - e.g., Das Leben der Anderen, Sophie Scholl, Zwartboek, Valkyrie, et cetera. Das Leben der Anderen is easily the best movie I've ever watched in my entire life, because it is so unpretentiously sophisticated - the story is tender and touching, and it was told in this unutterably sorrowful and intimate voice, as if those mellow echoes of history were meandering through the vast oceans of time to whisper to me. It moved me endlessly to see a man, summoned by his conscience, swimming bravely against the currents of his era, just because he wanted to do what is right. The ending was particularly good - that is, if you can understand the dialogue in German (but if the translations are competently done, you'd be able to appreciate it as well). I don't think I can ever do it sufficient justice just by describing it (in fact, I've probably made it sound very clichéd), so you really have to watch it to experience for yourself what an artistic masterpiece it is. It has both style and substance - it articulates very eloquently, without resorting to rhetoric, just what it means to be a good man. Even if you don't care for this, the poignant fiction itself is stirring enough to enrapture you in wistful silence.

19. My taste in music is rather eclectic. I listen to almost all genres - bossa nova, soft rock, folk, instrumental, chanson, indie, blues, jazz, electronica, classical, and so on. Occasionally I listen to rap songs as well - Eminem's Mockingbird is pretty good. The genres I totally hate are techno, heavy metal and hip hop. There is not even a single song I like that belongs to any of these categories. Heavy metal and hip hop songs often come with disgustingly solipsistic and mindless lyrics accompanied by completely tuneless background noise that attempts shamelessly to pass itself off as music. I get spasms all over my body and froth uncontrollably at my mouth when I listen to such gibberish.

20. I hate it when professors ask me to advance my arguments in really short papers - e.g., essays for which the word limit is 1000 words or for which the maximum length is 3 double-spaced pages or something. There is just way too little space for me to satisfactorily flesh out my arguments, and I feel as if a mosquito has just bitten me in my behind but my hands are tied in such a manner that I cannot scratch it to relieve my itch. It makes me feel increasingly vexed as I write it, and the end-product is usually a dismally bad piece of work. Even with economical language, there just is not enough room for me to develop my points.

21. Approximately half of my wardrobe is contributed by my female cousins and by my mother's friends' daughters who are of around the same build as me. I seldom shop for new items myself, and I honestly don't understand why anyone would need 3000 pairs of shoes.

22. If I had an OBSCENE amount of wealth, I would want to travel around the world and preferably spend at least one year each in these countries: Japan, Germany, China, France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark and Argentina. I would also set up a research institute and hand out handsome scholarships to promising scientists to embark on cutting-edge research work in the fields of astrophysics, quantum mechanics, biology, medicine, neurology and environmental science. Last but not least, I would donate to causes that serve to advance gender equality, to improve health care for people in poor nations, to promote secularism, and to eliminate the exploitation of labour in third-world countries.

23. If I could only have one gift in the world, I would want to be able to play the piano like Chopin. No stuttering clumsiness in speech, no barrier of language, just melodious fluency that is timeless and that has no need for words.

24. If I could meet any living persons I want to, I would like to have lunch with David Attenborough (when I watch his documentaries I feel that life is amazing), Richard Dawkins, Kazuo Ishiguro, Milan Kundera, Stephen Hawking (I'll feed him), Lisa Randall, Michio Kaku, Barack Obama, Andrew Wiles, Terrence Tao, Angela Merkel, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Umberto Eco, Ronald Dworkin, Bill Bryson, Andrea Bocelli, Rowan Atkinson, Roger Federer, Zinedine Zidane, Wentworth Miller, George Clooney and Jodie Foster.

25. If I have to describe myself in 6 words, I'd say: I elude summary in six words.

8 kommentarer:

zihui sagde ...

u know, i think this stems from the "15 things about me" on facebook, which are usually one liners, so, WOW. I like no.25 :)

Miao sagde ...

i think this stems from the "15 things about me" on facebook, which are usually one liners

From this, you can conclude that I was utterly bored. :D

I just realised that I'm supposed to spread this around and ask another 5 people to do it or something. Sigh.

Wei Shi sagde ...

Haha, I've already done the one on facebook. But I'll do this meme! (I'll surely be bored aft summer sch ends)
I agree with many of your 25 points. And the one abt devoting your love to only one person till the end of your life? I completely agree too. :)
And I don't like winter!! I loathe thick, heavy coats that make me feel really uncomfy.

Miao sagde ...

And the one abt devoting your love to only one person till the end of your life? I completely agree too.

Maybe we should have a lesbian relationship then. We'll be happy! :D

Wei Shi sagde ...

Yea, come on baby!
I am getting tired and bored of the opposite sex! :P

Miao sagde ...

HEHE.

Cayden Liu Weixian sagde ...

We guys aren't BS-ing when we complain that all the good women in the world are either dead, lesbo, or taken...

Miao sagde ...

Females like to joke that all the good men are taken, gay or monks as well...