cloud nineteen

These are the trivial thoughts and inner monologues of…

Encounter with a stranger

I was walking home from work tonight when this man, in his 40s or 50s, just started talking to me. I had my earphones in so I took one out and asked him what he said to me. He asked me, with a heavy accent, “Are you a tourist here?”
“No, no, I work around here!”
“Oh, you work here. I thought you weren’t from around here because of the way you look at things.”
I was very dubious at first, of this man who was randomly striking up a conversation with me. That’s how I am. I’m always unsure of people before I get to know them.
I thought it would just end with the one comment and I would continue walking on my own, but he continued talking to me, and eventually I didn’t mind it at all.
He got to knowing that I was born here and my parents were born in the Philippines, and I learned from him that he would really love to visit the Philippines – he was more interested in the slums area than the tourist areas. He told me that he was Greek and that he has gone all over Europe and would love to visit South American countries. Then he started talking to me about how it’s important not to forget where you came from, your background, your culture.
That’s when it really started to get interesting.

As it turns out, he was also going to Town Hall station to catch a train. Initially I considered lying, and going somewhere else for a few minutes to end the conversation prematurely, but firstly, I’m not a quick thinker so I couldn’t think of anything else to do except sheepishly say, “I’m going there too.” And secondly, I was actually quite interested in what he was saying.
He started talking about how it’s so different in Australia than it is to Europe, and not in a very pleasant way. Not that I know what it’s like in Europe, but I completely agree with him. That’s why I want to visit Europe so much. I know it’s different there.
We talked about how everyone here is the same, they follow each other, they’re a big group of clones and they don’t live as individuals.
We talked about how people associate happiness with money. He asked me what kind of life stimulates me, my mind, excites me – what is the kind of life that I want to live? And I told him that I don’t want to live for money.

I want to do something that I enjoy for a living, and not for the money I’ll get from it. I explained to him that I study film and television, and it’s hard to earn lots of income from that profession, but I still want to work in that industry because if I enjoy what I’m doing, the amount of money I get out of it doesn’t matter. I don’t want my life to consist of making money then spending it.
He agreed with me and told me about how he likes “my philosophy” and that he completely agrees with the fact that it’s wrong how people value money as a definition of happiness.
And it’s true. It’s completely messed up how much people are concerned with money, how this world is run by little pieces of paper, and how much of it you can make, and how much of it you can save.

By the time we reached the station and we were going to different platforms, we stood there for about ten minutes more, still talking.
I found out that he’s a writer, which, by the way, totally makes sense. He kept saying that he knew from first impression that I was different, that I had a different way of thinking from people around us, that I have a unique and intelligent way of thinking that he’s excited about because he believes it’s like he already knows me, as opposed to people who’ve known each other for five years who still don’t truly know what they’re about, what’s inside their head. He believes he really understands my way of thinking and believes that it’s really good for his mind too, to discuss these things with someone like me, because he believes it will help his way of thinking to bounce off another mind. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like he’s hitting on me. I kept saying thank you to him every time he said, “I knew you were different, that you have a more intelligent way of thinking.” But he’d keep saying these things to me and say, “I’m not trying to compliment you, I just think it’s really exciting that I talk to this person from the street and 20 minutes later, I feel like I know you very well.”

He finally introduced himself to me as Niko. And then he went on about how I am fitting of that name and yeah okay maybe that part was little can-you-not for me.
And here’s the thing. Here is where I am at a crossroads.
He said I was a very interesting person and that he would like to have coffee with me sometime, because he would love to continue discussing the kinds of things we were talking about.
Again, I was very unsure, and I sort of deliberated and eventually said okay. Only because even if I said yes, it didn’t mean I’d have to show up later.
I told him I was working the rest of the week, and he asked me when I was in the city next, and honestly, I don’t know why I was being so honest, but I actually when to check my schedule and told him the truth – that I finish work on Friday at 6pm. So he asked to meet him for coffee then, at QVB in front of the statue.
Then he put his number in my phone.
I was pretty relieved with that. He did leave it open-ended (You can give me your number, or I can give you my number) but eventually he asked to give his number to me. So I did. And I’m glad that technically I have the power here.

Now the crossroads is this – I still kind of don’t trust him, just because he’s a middle-aged stranger I met one night, who just, I don’t know.
But I know that if he was my age, and was good-looking, I would definitely meet him for coffee this Friday. Shallow, I know.
But at least it’s the truth.

September playlist

1. “Pull Me Down” Mikky Ekko (Ridiculously obsessed with this song right now, I’ve had it on repeat for days!)
2. “I Got” Young The Giant
3. “Heavenfaced” The National
4. “Elephant” Tame Impala

5. “Global Concepts” Robert DeLong
6. “Stubborn Love” The Lumineers
7. “Yet Again” Grizzly Bear

8. “Resolution” Matt Corby
9. “Riptide” Vance Joy
10. “Heart It Races” Dr. Dog
11. “Obstacle 1″ Interpol
12. “Best Day Of My Life” American Authors
13. “Heavy Feet” Local Natives
14. “Short Skirt Long Jacket” Cake (Yes, Chuck’s opening theme!)

15. “Back Seat” Atlas Genius

August playlist!

It’s been a while since I’ve made one of these! But I went to the Splendour in the Grass music festival, and I’m just in a permanent musical mood, and I’m also procrastinating, so… why not?! Here’s a playlist, one song from each artist I saw at Splendour.

1. “Pool!” Cub Scouts
2. “Youth” Daughter
3. “Bad Day” Darwin Deez
4. “Resolution” Matt Corby
5. “Babel” Mumford & Sons
6. “Man I Need” Jagwar Ma
7. “I’m Into You” Chet Faker
8. “Deja Vu” Something For Kate
9. “Hang Me Up To Dry” Cold War Kids

10. “Lanterns” Birds Of Tokyo
11. “Alive” Empire Of The Sun (Okay, I HAD to mention this, I was front row and he fricking came down to the audience and stood right next to me, [so close I could touch his butt, what no did i say that no i did not] and he stood there for a pretttty long time, and he was making some really meaningful eye contact with someone near me and very steadily pUT HIS HEADPIECE ON TOP OF HER LITTLE HOMEMADE HEADPIECE AND THEN WENT BACK ON STAGE WHUT. I was on the big screen and everything haha!)
12. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” The National
13. “Mr. Polite” The Jungle Giants
14. “Gasoline” Alpine
15. “Air” Snakadaktal
16. “My Gun” The Rubens

17. “Royals” Lorde (Replaced Frank Ocean who cancelled!)
18. “Breezeblocks” Alt-J
19. “Little Talks” Of Monsters And Men

20. “Carried Away” Passion Pit

New life update

I don’t know how or why this happened, but things are happening for me.

I turned nineteen years old less than three weeks ago, and I feel like a completely different person to the one who was having a nap on the afternoon of her eighteenth birthday, wishing she didn’t have to entertain guests because all she wanted to do was curl up in her bed and sleep.
I simply figured, nothing new has been happening in my life and it’s because I’m not letting anything happen. I’m saying no to any opportunities thrown my way, and I’m not throwing myself into anything new and out of my comfort zone.

So that’s what I’ve been doing these last few weeks. And I didn’t even go into this intentionally, saying yes to everything; it all just fell into place. It all just happened.
My first week back to uni, I was already jam-packed with work to do because my friends encouraged me to write and direct a short film I had on my mind. Basically, I had a week to turn nothing into a written screenplay and pitch in a week.
In that same week, I was given a job interview, and that job.
On a slightly smaller and sillier scale, I think something is progressing romantically. :O
And socially. Because I’ll be going on a trip with friends up north to my very first music festival – Splendour In The Grass!

That was all just last week. Now I’ve come to the end of this week and I am a completely different person. Mostly because of my new job, I think. I seem to feel much more independent and more approachable. Having to deal with customers and tourists all day and being encouraged to approach people and ask if they need help has made me feel less anxious/weird about approaching strangers to talk or ask for something. Even when I was on my break, I was waiting in line at a cafe, and just striked up a conversation with the couple in front of me. You have to understand – this is something I never do. Usually if a stranger randomly talks to me, I just give them a smile and a bit of a laugh. But this time I was actually the one to start the conversation. What? I also find myself just smiling at strangers for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s creepy, but finally having a job is just making me feel independent, and useful.

I’m mostly terrified at the thought of writing and directing a short film, especially because this will be our major work that spans across two trimesters. I could either make or break this, and also make or break my close friendships with the people in my group (I’ve seen it happen to another director). But I’m also excited about this. I always seem to forget about that part. That I’m excited. Mostly because it’s like a dripping tap in the back of my mind, always reminding me that there’s something I need to be working on to do with this short film, and it makes me anxious because I don’t want to screw it up. I’m just really nervous about it because it’s such a big thing, but I just find it crazy how I ended up doing this.

I basically just threw myself in the deep end for pretty much all aspects of my life, and let me tell you, I am exhausted. Yes, it’s only been two weeks, but it feels like it has been two months. All this work to do with the screenplay and presentation, plus working 9 to 5 on all my previously free days…
I’m not going to have a day off for three weeks and then I’ll be going straight to Splendour.

Just to think, two weeks ago going from being unemployed, unambitious, with 4-day weekends every week spent entirely at home, to having a very time-demanding job, being a director-in-the-works, with no days spent entirely at home for at least a month…


07: Favorite cover of your favorite song

As if I even have a favourite song! Just choosing my favourite covers of any song in general.

MGMT – Electric Feel (Katy Perry Cover)

I don’t know why so many people think Katy Perry is a terrible singer. Maybe there’s something completely different about her voice when she sings live, but I think she’s amazing. Having said that, this is actually the only song I have of her, and it sounds nothing like any of her usual songs. What I LOVE about this cover is that it really is a cover – not just another artist playing the same song. That’s what I like about all covers, really.


Architecture In Helsinki – Heart It Races (Dr. Dog Cover)

Again, for completely altering the tone and musical arrangement of the song. So summer-y, so beachy, so chilling out on the balcony on a cold Sunday morning with a cup of tea and a good book and a good view. Psst, I like the cover better than the original!


Kimbra – Two Weeks/Head Over Heels

It’s a mash up cover of Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” and Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Fears” on Triple J. Basically I just love everything Kimbra does. Even covers and arrangements of her own songs are just. Amazing.

Existential Crisis

I am just about having the worst existential crisis of my life.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 3rd year in college (technically 3rd year, long story), which means I only have two trimesters to go, and I have no idea what I’m doing. I know that so many other students experience exactly what I’m experiencing right now, but frankly, that doesn’t do anything to help my situation. Knowing that other people don’t know what they’re doing with their lives isn’t banishing the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing either.
Maybe if I chose a different career path, a more stable one, things would be easier, I keep thinking to myself. But I’m not so sure. In truth, if I chose any career path other than the film industry, all I’d be doing is regretting whatever I’m studying and wishing I was studying film.

Here are some things you need to know about me to fully comprehend the extent of my existential crisis:
1. I want a job with a steady income and regular hours
2. I am terrible at adapting to change
3. I am a shy and awkward person
4. I do not take initiative on many things. If anything, it’s a rarity
5. My navigating and transporting skills are 99% non-existent

Here are some things you need to know about working in the film industry:
1. The film industry is an absolutely terrible and terrifying place for anyone with any or all of the attributes above
2. Was that not enough?

Look, I just want to create through this audio-visual medium. I am fascinated by it. I love story-telling and I love film and I love its language and its power and the way it speaks to people and how each and every minor detail has been thought through and put there specifically to enhance the story in some kind of way. I love it. I love film. It’s my passion. And they say, “Do what you love,” right? So that’s what I decided to do.

But here is my problem:
I am the only thing in this nonsensical equation that is stopping me from being successful before I’ve even started. Psychologically, yes. But even my skills are limited. I lack all the technical skills required to operate a camera to its full extent. It just doesn’t stick in my head. My knowledge of film, past and present, is disturbingly poor. The only thing I think I have going for me is that I am “creative”. And even then, I couldn’t prove anyone of that in my “Creative Thinking” class.

I shouldn’t even have time to worry about what I’m going to do when I graduate, because these final two trimesters involve a “specialised project” in which, by the title, we specialise in a certain role, in a certain type of film medium. E.g. The director for a short film, or the editor for a music video.
And still. I don’t know what I’m good at. I still don’t know what I enjoy the most. And I’m pretty sure I’m the only one left in the class who can’t find her little niche. I’m pretty sure I’m one of those people in the class who you wouldn’t want to end up working with because she doesn’t seem to know anything or know how to do anything or is any good at anything. One of those people who you’d think is just taking this course because she doesn’t know what she’s doing and will most likely end up working in a completely different industry.
And I guess that is me. I don’t know anything, I can’t do anything, and I’ll probably end up doing something completely unrelated to film because I chickened out.

I’m thinking… Screenwriting? Production/set design? Editing?
The latter is probably the only promising one in terms of its demands in the industry. And yet that is probably my worst skill out of the three. And even then, I know if I ever told anyone in class that I’d like to get into screenwriting or editing, that I would be laughed at. I’m not even joking. Literally laughed at. Especially editing. Production design is what I’m most interested in, but my lecturer pretty much told me there’s no future down that career path; hardly anyone needs a production designer in small or indie productions. He keeps telling me I have a “good head” and has given me positive feedback about my editing skills and has pretty much convinced me into specialising in editing, but look – the main thing I’m having a problem with about this is that I don’t know how to prove myself a worthy editor to my classmates enough for them to want to take me on as editor for their project. There are some really amazing editors in the class who have known what they wanted to do since before they came to this college – they’ve been practising for so long, edited for a fair few productions, and just really know their stuff. And then there’s me, who just realised a month or two ago, maybe I’d be sort of okay at editing, if that’s what my general feedback has been.

The bottom line is, I have the passion for filmmaking, but not the skills. How stupid is that?

06: Earliest thing you can remember

I was probably three years old, lying upside down on our ancient old brown couch. My head was hanging off the edge and my legs were up where your back should be leaning. I had no pants on, but I was wearing a white shirt with some sort of prints on the front, and white undies.

I distinctly remember this from my perspective (not sure if this should be obvious or not), and I was staring at my legs against the couch, not really thinking of anything. I had a bottle of milk in my mouth, so from my perspective I could see it in the foreground. It was the bottle that separated in the middle to make two handles so that you could hold it with both hands.

The interesting thing is, I don’t know how much of that tiny memory is actually true. They say every time you remember something, it changes a little bit every time.
I have thought of that memory countless times. I’m kind of intrigued by it, how something so fleeting and meaningless could be my earliest memory. It makes me wonder if there was something significant at that time, if there was a reason I remembered that moment specifically, if there was something I was thinking about that was profound enough (well, for a three-year-old, at least) that I would remember that moment.
And how much of this memory has stuck to its actual event? Was I really wearing a white shirt? Was it really the old brown couch I was lying on? Did I even have that milk bottle in my hands, or did I just assume that just because I was a toddler in this memory?

It all sounds stupid and unnecessary to think so deeply in this, I know. But sometimes I wish I could do that thing in Harry Potter, where you extract your memories into this liquid thing (I don’t remember! I’m not a hard out HP fan!) and then dunk your face into the thing and then replay it (sounds graceful). Or, you know, save your memories into a hard drive and then play it back whenever. And the memories wouldn’t be warped as a result of time or having other experiences afterwards, e.g. Remembering all the good times you had with a friend after they backstabbed you or something, they wouldn’t play back as if this friend is suddenly a very ugly person. I think that would be amazing. To save your memories forever exactly the way it happened.

I’m a very nostalgic person, can you tell?

05: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life

You, you crazy child you.

Though I’m not, nor have I ever been, your best friend, it doesn’t change the fact that we have always somehow remained important in each other’s lives. It’s funny too, how that can be, when we were only really close from 2007 – 2009. Just three short years, yet I feel like our friendship means so much more than the time we spent together. We’ve lost touch with each other completely, yet I’m sure in twenty years’ time, we’ll still be going to each others’ birthday events.

It started in 8th grade Food Tech, and as it seems, weird people are like magnets to other weird people. How did we get acquainted so quickly? We talked about the strangest things, you had the most absurd sense of humour I’ve ever come across in my short eighteen years, but you were the crazy weird that allowed me to unleash my crazy weird.
9th grade was bliss because being in the same class for almost everything meant we could spend all day everyday together soaking up each other’s weird. I’d say that year was probably one of the best years of my life.

You might mean much more to me than I ever did to you, but alas. There are plenty of reasons why.
You, at such a young age, already knew who you were, already knew yourself, you were already your own person. I was still caught up in chasing fads and trying to make people like me. The most amazing thing that anyone’s ever done for me, a shy little wallflower, was bring out the confidence in me. Bring me out of my shell.
The whole time I knew you, that’s what you got me to do.
You helped me to completely forget about all the bullying that had gone on. I smiled and laughed in class, for a change.
Music class was so much fun. We jammed together, you taught me all this stuff, we helped each other with our assignments, performances, etc. Especially when I freaked the frack out before one performance, and we just sat in the rehearsal room talking about stuff to take my mind off of it.

But the most important thing of all, is that if I had not met you, I might never have realised my passion for acting/theater, and eventually, film. If I hadn’t partnered up with this enthusiastic ball of sunshine in all our drama exercises, I might not even be taking the course I’m doing now.
You made me so incredibly enthusiastic about drama class, and so confident. Confident enough to want to volunteer to perform in front of the class, the activities we had to do in partners.
So then I’d go on to choose it as an elective, and then it just became my life all throughout high school. And if I hadn’t chosen drama, how would I have known I’d be interested in film? The potential career that I’m pursuing?

If I had not met you, I would not be on the path that I’m on. So yeah, you sure as hell changed my life. And I didn’t even realise.

All the countless notes we passed in class, the crazy stories we made up, the origami you taught me, the inside jokes, music, english, drama, metal tech, Spongebob, Naruto(!), Jason Mraz, Boys Like Girls, Gaia, the list is endless!

You’ll always be so special to me, and I thank you endlessly with all of my heart for being a spazzed out talented and crazy weird blob that just grew out of nowhere from a bunch of weeds. :)

Play With Fire

As you may or may not know, I study film and television at a creative arts college. I have worked on a few productions that were disastrous and some that I’m quite proud of. This is one of those things!

This is the latest production we worked on. We work with a band from the music performance students and turn one of their original songs into a music video!
I was the editor and production designer.

So without further ado, Panachae’s ‘Play With Fire’.

What’s the Matter – Milo Greene

When I don’t know what I feel like listening to, I usually end up going to this song. And the rest of this album. It feels very cinematic, like I’m watching a short film. It’s great.
That’s all. Thank you and goodnight.


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