The Versatile Blogger Award

As a blogger, March 25th 2012 is one of the happiest days of my life.

A fellow blogger, Adromache Wilde, who runs the if i die before i sleep blog, just nominated me for this award. (Check No Duck Sauce post for more details).

So what is a Versatile Blogger Award? Basically it’s a blog award that is given by another blogger. The rules are: to thank your nominator, nominate other bloggers, and tell seven truths about yourself.

First of all, let me thank Adromache Wilde for the nomination! I feel truly honoured for receiving this award, and I hope you will enjoy the coming posts as much as you enjoy the previous ones.

Now, I’d like to nominate other bloggers. Some of them may have received the award twice, but it just means that their blogs are so good!

(the blogs are listed not in any particular order)

1. Doctor Quack
I came across Doctor Quack’s blog when I read his post Is childhood innocence a lie? and I have loved his writing ever since. His posts are highly critical and logical, and it is written in a very beautiful way that leaves you wondering about your own values after reading his.

2. Gaasedal’s Weblog
I first read his post titled, Anyone over the age of 35 should read this, as I copied this from a friends status, and it totally blew me away. Saving the planet? Going green? There are many ways to do so, not only by using the recycle-friendly plastic bags…

3. The Naked Listener’s Weblog
It has so many intriguing posts, and they are interesting stuffs. What most amazes me is its About page.

4. Loonyliterature
Like its name, loonlyliterature blogs everything about literature. The posts about Frankenstein are very interesting indeed. Her recent post, How Drama Classes Give Teenagers Work Experience, is a very great read, and I totally agree!

5. Light Touch
This is a photoblog, and I am highly inspired by the beautiful photos that have been taken – it’s like each of them is telling a story! Don’t believe me? See it for yourself: Sunrise Walk.

6. The Tousled Apostle
Her English is just superb. Really. I know English is my second language, and as a result I often use the wrong words and grammar. Her thoughts about life are also fascinating! Especially the ones about her life with Christ. Check this out: love letters of God.

7. Duck’s Formation Blog
I first came across her blog from her post on Mamamia (an online magazine which is based in Sydney). Her thoughts are random, but very entertaining. Check her recent post: The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

8. Hear. Think. See. Write
I didn’t come to know his blog by some random encounter, in fact he is one of my best friends’ boyfriend. But anyway, his posts are always honest and sincere, and I really enjoy reading his opinions and everything in between. Check his post on Multitaksing.

9. Alice Radwell
She is a writer, and a good one. She reads more books than I will ever read in my life (I truly believe so). One of my favourite posts is this: Letter to Santa (Requested Repost).

10. I was just thinking…
Great posts. Period. Click this to go to her blog.

11. b for bel
Belinda just has the talent to find the most random stuffs, which odds are, they are hilarious and interesting as well. Check out her blog here.

12. Life to the full
This is my editor in Meld’s husband’s blog, and I totally love his writing. He can make me laugh without even trying to. He’s a doctor, and his trilogy of his bucks’ night is just hilarious. Love it!

13. My Prognosis
My older sister’s blog. She is a doctor, but if she chooses to become a writer, I really believe she can. But anyway, she, too, can write in a humorous way without even attempting it, and her views are more… scientific. Check out her story of no, it’s not domestic violence. (I was standing beside her when this incident happened. Imagine how hard I laughed. *bad sister).

14. Jeff Goins Writer
A professional blogger who write about writing and everything else in between. If you’re stuck with your writing and just in need of good advice or support, his is the blog that I recommend you all to go. Check out his post on Why should you tell the ugly parts of your story, and don’t forget to download his free e-book, The Writer’s Manifesto!

And lastly, let me close with referring back to the one who gave me this award,

15. if i die before i sleep
Honest and provoking blog, some posts talk about the hard issues in life. Go read them.

Okay, so here are seven truths about myself:

1. I am a fan of movies, and I can go all day (literally all day) sitting on my sofa, drinking my hot tea, covered by my comfortable red throw, and watching countless movies in my hard disc. If only I have the time…

2. Not only a fan of movies, I’m a BIG fan of movies. Why? Because I would watch a movie again and again and again, and again. I can almost remember all the scenes, the lines of the actors and actresses before they even speak of them. Because of this, my older sister used to tease me as a movie maniac.

3. I have diagnosed myself as having sister complex obsession. I love my sister too much, I guess, and a few years ago I am so dependent upon her. However, today’s situation is a little bit different. I am not that obsessed anymore, but I am still so dependent on her, having that extreme jealousy when she got in a relationship around six months ago. Oh, boy!

4. I have never set a foot in a club, and never been drunk (and not intending to). My favourite alcoholic drink is port, and no one that I know fancies that (sad…).

5. I am an emotional human being who cries in watching every movie (well, not all). I cried when watching Up, Titanic, The Notebook, and almost all chick flick movies… I sobbed like a little girl when Severus Snape died (yes, you read that right).

6. I’m an outdoor person. I love theme parks. Disneyland, Universal Studio, Everland, Neverland, Anyland, odds are that I will love it. I’m also a fan of museums, seaworlds, and zoos. My perfect date will include going to all of them.

7. I have halux valgus. Not a severe one, of course, but it is a condition whereby your big toe (called the hallux) starts to deviate inward in the direction of the baby toe. So instead of growing straight, your toe bends. This has caused me to feel great pain when I’m walking too long, good amount of blisters when I’m walking with the wrong shoes (closed shoes and ordinary flat shoes count), and it also disables me to wear high-heels for more than 30 minutes.

Ps. Thank you to my readers who keep reading my blog! I really appreciate each one of you guys! You brighten up my dark days =D.


The youngest child syndrome

Published on Meld Magazine on Friday, 16 March 2012.

THE sister of two very talented and successful women, Marcella Purnama tells us why being the youngest child isn’t always as fantastic as everyone says it is.

Most people say the youngest child has it the easiest. They’re the spoiled ones who can’t do anything wrong, after all. But if you’re the youngest, like me, you’ll know that’s not true. Often it’s actually the opposite. We’re the ones who have it the hardest.

Generally speaking, the oldest child is usually the boss, the planner, the leader. They’re born with that natural instinct to lead and to find out about stuff, whether it be organising a holiday trip or asking a stranger how to get to the supermarket.

They’re the ones the parents turn to when they need something done. They’re usually more confident, more responsible, more stubborn and more opinionated. This is called the Oldest Child Syndrome, and my older sister is a perfect example.

The middle child is usually referred to as the “odd” one. Well, the theory is that the middle child can’t beat their older sibling in authority and they can’t beat their younger sibling at getting their parents’ attention, so they’re stuck in the middle.

Middle children are usually introverts who keep things to themselves. If the oldest child and youngest child have similar personalities, the middle child is usually at the other end of the rope by themselves. At least, my second sister is and she definitely has the Middle Child Syndrome.

The youngest child, as many of you know, is spoiled and more of a follower. They’re forever referred to as the baby – it’s a name that’s stuck with them for life. Even when they’ve grown up, their parents never really understand they’re no longer children.

The youngest child usually demands more attention from their parents and are a bit of a rebel. They’re too used to walking in the footsteps of their older siblings and that makes them want to break free and prove to the world that they’re different. At the very least, I do. This is the Youngest Child Syndrome.

Of course, there are plenty other syndromes, the Single Child Syndrome, Oldest Child being Male Syndrome, Youngest Child being Female Syndrome and whatever other combination you can think of, but in my family, we’re perfect examples of the Older, Middle and Youngest Child Syndromes.

When you have siblings, it’s hard to run away from the inevitable comparisons. I know, I’ve been there, and it’s not that my parents and teachers and friends want to do it, they just do it unconsciously.

When my parents try to correct my mistakes, they start their lectures by saying, “When she was your age, your older sister never…” and it goes on.

When you go to school, you go to the school your older siblings went to years ago. Usually you’re taught by the teachers who taught them earlier and they’ll inevitably make comments like, “Ah, you’re her little sister”. Immediately, deep down, you begin to question whether you’re on the same level as your older sibling. It’s inevitable.

Looking back, I took triple science and extension maths in senior high school because my sister took those same subjects before me. I chose to major in psychology and media and communication when I had the slightest freedom at university partly because I wanted to prove to the world that I was different. I wanted to shout that I was me and not my sister.

My parents know that, for sure. They love each of us for our distinct abilities and talents, but sometimes the unconscious comparison is still there, and when your older siblings are the closest living people to perfection, it gets even harder.

My oldest sister is the multi-talented one. She can sing well, dance well, perform well, play the piano and guitar and be the MC at any event. She is a natural leader, able to organise every party, every holiday trip without a single mistake. She is clever and is currently on her way to completing a PhD in Bioscience in Singapore.

When people look at her, they know she is the soul of the party. With her bubbly personality and her beautiful looks, it was little wonder she was prom queen and the boys worshipped at her feet. She is taken now, married to a wonderful guy a little more than a year ago.

My middle sister is the smart one. Have I told you that her UAI (Universities Admission Index, now called ATAR – Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) was 99.95? She was a science student and is now a doctor in Melbourne. Her friends love her and she always has the right values and morals.

She is a very good writer, and if she chose to be one, I believe her book would be the next number one international bestseller. Not to mention she has a very good eye for fashion and I trust my sister’s opinions even more than my own. She is a very good listener and a philosopher. She is kind, loving and gentle.

In summary, they’re the most perfect people I have ever known and I love them (I’ve also self-diagnosed myself as having a “sister complex obsession”).

But their perfection does nothing for my self esteem.

As far as people are concerned, I will always be someone’s “little sister”, especially when it comes to my middle sister. In high school, my teachers had the highest expectations of me because she held the unbeatable record of having the best UAI in the school’s history.

At home, my parents hope I’ll be more like her – easy to teach and someone who will adopt the right morals in life.

In church, it’s the same thing. I am her shadow. Coming to Melbourne four years after her made me “her little sister” all over again. On Sundays after church I never get asked to go to lunch if my sister isn’t there. Sadly, they never really think of welcoming me as a separate being. They just think of me as “her little sister”.

And maybe that’s why I’m trying so hard to be someone so different to my siblings.

Don’t get me wrong, I am immensely proud to be their little sister, they are everything an older sister can be.

But maybe, a part of me wants to be known as who I really am, without comparison to those who are very dear to me.

Sometimes, people forget that part.

The Hunger Games (2012)

mp’s rating: 3.5/5

The Hunger Games: this is the movie that everyone talks about.

Set up sometime in the future, the government, aka ‘the capitol’ rules over 12 districts. To make these districts tremble in fear and respect the capitol, each year two teenagers (a boy and a girl) aged between 12 to 18 must participate in a brutal killing, where only one winner could live, named ‘The Hunger Games’.

Katniss, upon knowing that her little sister is chosen for the upcoming game, volunteers herself and becomes the female candidate for the district 12. And a boy, Peeta, who has a crush on Katniss since forever, is chosen too.

Then the brutal killing starts.

Twenty-four teenagers from the 12 districts take their parts on the battle, only one would come home alive.

I sat there in the cinema with no less than 300 other people. I was on the third row from the screen.

And like all theaters, the first couple of minutes were filled with commercials and trailers, but because 98 per cent of the seats were filled, they extended the commercial and trailer time to 30 minutes – and when you started watching at 9pm, the movie went for quite a while.

Receiving good ratings, great even, I watched the movie with high hope, fingers crossed on my neck that became sore right after the movie was finished.

It was good. It deserved its good rating. It was just… Dark.

A friend told me that the novel was written for teenagers aged 12-18 years old. Impossible.

Like critics used to say, Harry Potter stopped being a teenager book starting book 5. The Hunger Games, I believed, stopped being a teenager book right from the very beginning.

But only a great story could make me still be awake at 12.36am, trying to decipher the story and Wikipedia-ing the second and third book. And a great story it was.

Actors and actresses were great. Cinematography? Could have been done better with less moving hand-held camera that is a bit disturbing because it is used every time the contestants got into a fight, but overall it was ok. Plot? Interesting, fascinating, striking. But it’s dark.

It is very dark.

It tells us of every flaw of human, of our basic instinct that has been woven since the time of the gladiators.

It tells us what will happen, if humankind fails.

But there’s still hope, no matter how small it is.

If you are looking for some fancy science fiction like The Chronicles of Narnia, or a heroic movie like Harry Potter, this is not it. I really doubt that this movie can be the next Harry Potter (well, who knows, but in my humblest opinion, I am not sure). However, it is still quite a good watch.

Read other reviews:

4 Things The Hunger Games Can Teach Us About the War on Women | Good News

Hunger Games vs Twilight: Why Games rule, … vampires suck | Straits Times

Saturday’s Story: A letter to my future wife: what I undeserve

Written by Joey Shadel when he was 18, dedicated to his future wife
Published by goodwomenproject

To My Wife,

You’re beautiful. You’re stunning. You’re absolutely perfect in more ways than you know.

I know you’re out there; I know you’re living life just as I am mine. If not now, then someday you will read this letter and gain some insight into who I was before we married. That being said, it might be the only aspect of my life before we met to make you proud.

I say you won’t be proud because frankly I’m not proud either. My heart breaks knowing how I betrayed you with those other women. I regret every touch, every kiss, and every fake “I love you.” I was so consumed with lust that I had mistaken it for love, when you are the only woman I want to ever truly love. For everything, I want to apologize.

Whether it was teenage drunkenness, images on a computer screen, or fantasies in my mind, I defiled the essence of who a woman was. I deliberately turned my back on my calling from God and chose immediate satisfaction. Satisfaction that withered as soon as my pants were back on; satisfaction that left a bowling ball-sized guilt in my chest. She was a physical means to a lustful end, and I had taken advantage of a sinful opportunity. I didn’t see her as a daughter of Christ, and I was becoming her future husband’s greatest enemy. I didn’t treat her body as a temple and took from her what only one man deserved. At the end of the day, my heart was broken for this woman and shattered for you.

If you were in the room, I can only imagine your reaction. You probably wouldn’t watch, you certainly would not want to. Youd probably feel betrayed, like I was cheating on you in front of your eyes. You’d probably be angry, ready to slap me and kick her out of the room for stealing my affection. You’d probably feel your heart being ripped from your body, dropped to the floor, and spat on. You’d probably cry out to God for mercy not to watch, forgiveness for me, and the strength to move on. You’d probably feel broken, expecting more than just an apology. It may never be enough, but it’s all I can say – I’m sorry.

I can see the tears knowing I took from you what only you deserve. You deserve a husband that honors you in his words, thoughts, and actions. I have not been that, and I have begged God for his forgiveness. As promised, he has forgiven me, and I hope you can forgive me, too.

This is a poem I wrote to you, titled What I Undeserve.

What I Undeserve

as i watch the sun rise and the weary sun set,
it reminds me of your eyes all dressed in regret.
not regretful of your past, but regretful of mine,
knowing that it’s been all but divine.

He has chosen to forgive me long long ago,
with a heart of compassion that i see you bestow.
its one of many reasons i get lost in your soul,
trying to save the heart you’ve inadvertently stole.

i can’t wait til the day i see your shining face
all dressed in white at a methodical pace.
walking toward me to begin our life as one,
blessed by the Father, Spirit, and Son.

You are what I don’t deserve. God’s grace will bring us together when I have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Yet I suppose it wouldn’t be grace if I did.

My prayer, at this present time, is that each day God is preparing my heart for you. Marriage is for life, so may what we’ll have last forever. I pray that Christ is not only your Lord, but that He is also your Savior, blessing you with the fruits of His Spirit. My worry is that if you’re in love with Him, then I will be such a disappointment. So I pray that each and everyday I will become less like myself and more like Christ, and that the fruits of His Spirit will also grow in me to naturally honor both Him and you, his daughter.

I know you’re not perfect either. I know you’ve made your mistakes too, perhaps with sins very similar to mine. If your heart is broken, I pray God will repair it. If you’re burdened from sin, I pray He will take away the guilt. Someday I want to look you in the eyes, forgiven, forgiving, and sharing with you a love the past cannot hinder.

I can’t wait to know you inside and out. I want to hear all your favorite stories, music, and movies. I can’t wait to meet your family and learn who you were before we met. I praise God for your beautiful soul and the blessings He will pour into my life through you. Someday we will share a life together. We’ll move on from the past, love every moment of the present, and gratefully await all the memories of the future.

“Sixty queens there may be, and eighty concubines, and virgins beyond number; but my dove, my perfect one, is unique.” Song of Songs 6:8-9.

Love Your Future Husband,


Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D (2011)

mp’s rating: 2/5

As a fan of Chinese war movies, I have to say that I am disappointed.

The movie was shot in 3D (which is a bit weird, Avatar in 3D was understandable, but a Chinese action movie in 3D? My first reaction was “it’s ridiculous”), and not being a fan of 3D (in fact I kind of hate it), it was quite a let-down (I would have watched the 2D version if there’s any).

The plot of the movie was vague and frankly, it had no story at all. I didn’t understand about the ‘Dragon Gate’, the legend and myth that it had buried a city of gold, and the flying swords. Even the protagonist (the one who was played by Jet Li) didn’t have any background whatsoever. He just suddenly the master of martial arts who was going against the bad guys. Ehm.

However, the movie is saved by the cinematography. The techniques are quite good (too good, perhaps, it looks very unreal). By the end of the movie, I find myself longing of the next Chinese war movies like 14 Blades, Three Kingdoms, or Warlords. It’s been quite a long time since I last watched a really good Chinese war movie.

If you like Chinese action movies, it was quite good, but if you don’t like a good plotted movie, it might let you down.

Weekly Wraps

Today, I would introduce the new notion for this blog: The Weekly Wraps. It’s basically about the best posts or articles that I’ve read throughout the week (because, I know, lately I browsed and read a lot), so I might as well share the inspirational stuffs that I have read.

Not a new idea, I know, but it’s fun to experiment stuffs!

1. A letter to my sister on the birthday she never had | MamaMia

This is such a heartbreaking story because, well, who would want to be looking forward to an eventful day when you know that the person who should be celebrating is no longer here? Such a lovely, honest letter from an older sister.

2. Singapore, I love you. Here’s why. | Hufftington Post

I have always had a love-hate relationship with Singapore. First of all, my oldest sister lives there, so it’s for my own good sake that I don’t say anything defaming Singapore, and second, it’s… Singapore. It’s clean, it’s fine, and it’s a ‘fine’ city, but it’s also small, small, and small city. It has everything, but offers so little. I don’t even know if those contradicting statements can make sense.

Anyhow, Singapore is the country that I have been countless times (okay, perhaps more than 10), and since my oldest sister and her family, as well as my special friend works there, I have been confronted to love Singapore even more. Well, I guess, I’m trying. The food is great, the Hokkien Mie is to-die-for, but I just can’t simply imagine myself living in Singapore – yet. Will this attitude change? Who knows.

3. 4 Principles to Survive Adulthood | Relevant

This is a very powerful message. Like, seriously, I should have known those principles, they are common sense, but seriously, I think I need someone to tell it to my face for them to really sink it. Curious? Read the article.

4. How old should you be to marry? | Relevant

I grew up reading Detective Conan comics. One character was married at the age of 20. I wanted that too.

But how old should you be when you are married? According to the Economist, more women flee from marriage because: a) they have better jobs and education, and b) there are a shortage of sperms, like, decent guys. Women are marrying later and later in life, if ever they are going to marry.

The today’s ideal age to be married is around 28 for men, and 26 for women (based on my personal survey to some friends). Me? I am thinking of 23, or 24, but…

5. ‘Before I Die…’ | Hufftington Post

This is the most random post ever, but it is a nice twist. I retweeted Huff’s post, saying, “Considering that it’s 2012, I would like to get married before I die.” How about you?

6. The Secret to Effortless Writing | Jeff Goins Writer

I have been a huge fan of Jeff Goins. He is such an inspirational writer, and I keep on coming back again and again towards his website. If you’re a writer or a blogger, he has a hundred tips to help you improve your writing.

7. 50 Quotes from Jim Rohn for a better life | Janet Callaway

I’m a fan of quotes, and to emphasise that enough, I will let you soak Jim Rohn’s wisdom on living your life.

She’s a dean’s list student, and I’m proud of her

To my best friend that I have just found, thank you for being such a great inspiration and supporter.

I was 16 when I was first met her. We went to the same high school and got stuck in the same class in the 11th grade. Like all typical Chinese Indonesians, she has black hair and small eyes, and she was genius, still is.

Her sweet seventeenth birthday was the grandest of us all, and until today I still can remember her in her magnificent purple dress. She was stunning.

During high school we were quite good friends. We were in the same drama group. We served in the school’s chapel together, and we were both the pianists. We took Mathematics Extension 2. And she aced the subject.

She always has a brilliant brain for Maths, and today, she got in.

She got into Dean’s list.

She’s one of the top 3 percent.

Coming to the same university as her has taken me by surprise, because clearly, Melbourne was not her first choice.

But she ended up being here, and I’m really grateful that she did.

To some extent, her story is a lot like mine. Well, for romantic stories anyway. Over the years of friendship we have found striking similarities we often joked about, making her one person that knows exactly how I feel and what I’m going through.

But before that, let me tell you what I know about Livia Benedict.

Livia and I, at her sweet seventeenth birthday party

Livia is an Indonesian-born-Chinese who grew up in the busy metropolitan city, Jakarta. She has two older brothers, one of which will soon tie the knot. She came from an upper class family.

Even though she is one of the Eve’s descendant, to me she always is the more rationalist compared to all of us.

But before uni, I never really get to know her that well.

What I adore about Livia is her values. We share a lot in common, in terms on how we think and see life.

And unlike most of Indonesian international students, she has a part time job even though she never needs it, and keeps on striving for work experience.

My editor in Meld once told me that I have become Westernised in my idealism, which makes me unable to connect fully with my typical Indonesian peers. But I am happy to say that Livia understands me. She really does.

The first time I got an interview for an internship in the Royal Children’s Hospital, she gave me words of encouragement and asked me how it was right after the interview ended.

We traveled to places, mostly venturing new cafes, and we talked, a lot.

Odd enough, we both are not the type that crave for each other constantly. I think it’s fair enough to say that we are both individualists; we don’t mind not talking to each other everyday but having a good quality catchup once in a month.

And she is such a great listener, and supporter.

A couple of times she reads my writing, even though I know that she doesn’t really like to read. She told me once that the only novel she reads is chick flick, and resents the others.

Two years ago, we were both enrolled in the best university in Australia. She is a Commerce student, majoring in economics and finance, while I’m taking arts.

She teaches the little children. That’s no easy task.

She is fond of denim and shoes, and always dresses nicely.

Over the past two years, I have seen her grow, and become even more mature. She has flourished in her Christianity, and I can see that portrayed on her words.

She has become a fine young lady.

And today, as I sit on one of those benches, seeing you receiving the honour of the prestigious dean’s list, I have nothing more to say than I am proud of you. As a friend, I’m so, immensely proud.

I know that your name will be forever listed in the university’s history, and this is just another babbling on a mere blog post of mine, but I hope one day when life gets tough, you’ll remember how awesome you are today, combating those ‘kiasu’ Asian students for a place in the award.

You’re a fine young lady, and I know you will always be no less than being great.