Safe and Sound

Listening to Safe & Sound for almost a hundred times over the span of two days now has got me thinking that this song is more suitable for the ending of Mockingjay.


I remember tears streaming down your face
When I said, I’ll never let you go
When all those shadows almost killed your light
I remember you said, Don’t leave me here alone
But all that’s dead and gone and passed tonight

Safe & Sound sounds like a message from Peeta to Katniss towards the end of Mockingjay. Katniss suffers from post-war trauma during which everything is considered a dangerous element because everything is so fragile. Like a bomb that can go off at any second despite the end of a war– the irony of it. After what she’s been through, after months of terror and sorrow, it’s as if nothing can ever be safe anymore. But Peeta is present, and he promises never to let her go as he sees the “shadows” of her past -people she’d killed, people who’d been killed because of her, people she loved leaving and dying- slowly suck the fiery passion out of her. Katniss doesn’t want Peeta to leave her, because of the nightmares, the faces of the “shadows” appearing in her dreams to taunt her over and over again, but with Peeta’s presence -“But his arms are there to comfort me.”- he promises her that they will all pass eventually.

Just close your eyes
The sun is going down
You’ll be alright
No one can hurt you now
Come morning light
You and I’ll be safe & sound

Night time usually brings terror (as it was in the Hunger Games) but this time, he’ll protect her. And in the morning, after the nightmares, he’ll be there for her and she’ll be safe and sound.

Don’t you dare look out your window darling;
Everything’s on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold onto this lullaby
Even when the music’s gone, gone

I reckon that the “fire” and “war” are not literal but are instead mental battles Katniss is facing. He’s saying, don’t revisit the sorrowful times, despite the fact that they won’t ever really go away. Instead, hold onto “this lullaby”– Rue’s lullaby. “Here it’s safe, and here it’s warm, here the daisies guard you from every harm.” There will be moments when you feel nothing, nothing but a blank static screen and even all music is gone, but know that you are always protected and that you are safe.

In the music video, there are parts where Taylor Swift enters a dilapidated old house and that reminds me of the times when Katniss would revisit her old house in District 12, the one where she lived with her mother and Prim before the Hunger Games. Some scenes also showed Taylor in distress and at some point, even starts to hallucinate and this fits post-war Katniss.

I was also struck by another idea that this song could also be a message from Katniss to Prim, also post-war Mockingjay setting. Katniss is saying now that Prim’s gone, she’s finally safe, protected from the dangers Katniss couldn’t protect her from. At least she is now far, far away from all the tragedies and disasters that happen ever so often in life. “Don’t look out your window, don’t look down on Earth. Now that you’re gone, you’re finally safe and sound.”!/finnickodairs/status/181700714563780608

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I have felt perfection.

Chuck Palahniuk said, “A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection,” and I have felt that moment.

I’ve felt it in all the great achievements and possessions I have: a loving family, good grades, various crowds of friends, two whole shelves of books, a standard list of skills and abilities, sanity. But lately, everything that has been in balance has started feeling fragile. Like I was on top of a pinnacle, bound to fall any moment, the end of my heyday. Everything that was in line -family, relationships, skills, grades, health (both physically and mentally)- all felt like they were in danger of toppling down the hill I have been climbing my whole life.

Is it possible? To gain so much and lose all of them in one go- in one second? I wake up everyday, expecting something unfortunate. Death. Failure. What if I wake up and lose the ability to speak? To write? What if I wake up a different hijacked person? What if I don’t, at all?

Sadness frequents my life more and more often now. I know this is sadness because I feel that there is no one. Some bouts leave me nauseous, as if everything is slipping out of control, as if I could fall down at any moment and never get up.

Like a knot that can never be undone.

I’m Tagged!

By Tom Baker.

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

1. If you were forced to change the name of your blog what would you change it to?

Probably just “Michelle” or “Michelle Teoh”. Or lyrics from favourite songs.

2. How would you spend today if you knew it was your last day to live?

I would call each and every person I’ve ever known to tell them how great they are and how I’m thankful for their presences in my life and then I’d probably call up my favourite people and spend the rest of the day with them and also my parents. I would also leave my diaries and the address and password of my private blog at places where people can easily find them so that I’m not really gone after I die.

3. What is your most guilty pleasure?

Um. Listening to One Direction.

4. What is your most favorite smell?

The smell of food! (Sorry it’s so general, I don’t even really know what kind of smell makes me happy.)

5. Who would you most want to interview on your blog?

Hayley Williams or Mark Hoppus or Jesse Eisenberg or Andrew Garfield.

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Grammatical and punctuation mistakes top the list, followed by noisy people, people who smoke, people who don’t flush, people who block paths in crowds and people who sit in aisles to read and don’t even look up when you make an attempt to leap over their heads.

7. What is your favorite word in the English language?

“Effervescence” and “kaleidoscope” are two of my favourite words because they remind me of abstract strokes of art. I also like the word “letter” because I like letters (as in mail and not alphabets…but I quite like alphabets too.)

8. What is your favorite word in another language?

I’ve always liked the word “紫” (which means the colour purple) most probably for two reasons: a) it’s part of my name and b) I like the colour purple.

9. What do your favorite pair of underwear look like?

I have lots of favourite pairs of underwear, to be honest. This is also quite TMI but oh well, if you really want to know, one of my favourite pairs of underwear is orange in colour…which I am currently wearing.

10. Do you think the world is going to end this year?

“Always deny the apocalypse, John. You’ll usually be right, and when you’re wrong, no one will be left to say, ‘I told you so.’” was what John Green’s professor said to him when John was worrying about the Y2K bug, so, no.

11. If a movie was made based on your life, what actor/actress would play you?

I don’t know which actor or actress would play me but I’m hoping it’s either Saoirse Ronan, Kat Dennings or Ellen Page. In fact, given a choice, I would have Jesse Eisenberg to play my life because wow, perfect awkward role model right there.

I’m supposed to create another 11 questions and tag another 11 people but I don’t really want to do that at the moment so if you, the one who is currently reading this, wish to continue this tag, feel free to do so.

March Resolutions

To make up for my lack of new year’s resolution, I shall make a list of March resolutions instead.

During the whole month of March, I will:

  • read more
  • write more
  • eat less
  • exercise more
  • stop secretly liking One Direction (cue the widening of eyes and series of gasps)

I will not:

  • consume medication unless it is absolutely necessary (health supplements not included)
  • get myself sick
  • start revision at the eleventh hour
  • buy any more books
  • procrastinate excessively
  • do anything that will make me regret it for the next consecutive days

That is all, unless I get anymore ideas later.

Also, I am aware that I forgot February’s Project More. I shall combine both February and March’s Project in one post.

Also, check out Aifa’s new post that made me feel all queasy and strange inside.

We Return

I was looking for old photos on my mum’s Facebook profile when I stumbled upon two albums that made me start. I found the first photo dated 9th June 2009 in my 14th birthday album and the second photo in the countdown to 2012 album. What made me start was how eerily similar both photos were. Jia Yuan and I (the one in the red shirt with her hair tied in a ponytail) were both on the same couch and I was wearing the same shirt in both photos. Both Jia Ying and Xin Tong’s poses and positions were also similar, and the most important thing is none of this was planned, obviously. When you come to think of it, it’s quite scary and wonderful at the same time.

Come Take A Walk On the Wild Side

I don’t usually like seminars, even ones that get me feeling all motivated (because said motivation will eventually evaporate by the time I enter the car) but the one I just attended today was mighty good and fun. Two speakers from Inti College, Vincent Tung and Faris were invited to give a talk on résumé writing as well as the proper etiquette while sitting through an interview. Besides the fact that the topic itself had already piqued my interest, Vincent, the main speaker of the day, was incredibly charismatic and managed to engage most of the students in the activities, despite the fact that there were about 300 people in the hall so it was a pretty good talk and I say it was a pretty good talk because I didn’t find myself looking at the clock every few minutes or so.

One of the aforementioned activities was having each group select a member among themselves and proceed to write a résumé for her. And the picture above, ladies and gentlemen, is Aifa, Anum, Lela, Benei, Eel, Eah and Diana’s résumé for me.

Just to clarify some points:

  • “Mysterious (silent but witty)” was Aifa’s idea. It was also brand new information to me. I am witty?
  • “Loves blogging (First class blogger by WordPress 2012)” was an exaggeration. WordPress didn’t give me a first class blogger award or title. It was a blog hosted by WordPress but created by three bloggers that gave me the award, and it wasn’t anything official or verified (though I am thankful for the award, I really am).
  • “A great violinist (Grade 7)”. I’m no great violinist but thank you, Anum, for thinking so highly of me.
  • “Smart (Top scorer- first in the form since Form 1)” isn’t totally true. Not in Form 3. And I doubt in Form 4 too.
  • “Has a great sense of humour” was Benei’s idea. *weak laugh*
  • “Fantastic debater (awarded Best Speaker in HELP Debate Competition)” should be corrected to “awarded Best Speaker in one of the preliminary rounds in HELP Debate Competition”. The “glory” has been reduced.
  • “Has a thing for British people” is kind of irrelevant here but SPOT ON.

To the people in my life: YOUR LIVES HAVE BEEN LIES!

But the narcissist in me thinks it’s nice knowing what people think of you. Thank you, homeskillets, for the wonderful résumé.

End of Innocence, Darkness of Man’s Heart

I found this little piece of paper slotted in between page 146 and 147 of Lord of the Flies yesterday. It took me quite a long time to realise the existence of this paper since I’d brought the book all the way back from PJ. Nevertheless, this little piece of paper made my day yesterday.

As you can see, I changed my blog theme…again. The reason behind this sudden, secondary overhauling can be contributed to my stumbling upon Mai Mergili’s WordPress blog. Mai is a 16-year-old Thai fashion and photography enthusiast who currently resides and studies in Germany who also takes wonderful photos which can be found on her new blog. Definitely worth a visit, if I should say so myself.

Back to the topic of books, I finished Lord of the Flies by William Golding today and thus this marks my 8th book of the year as you can see on the little Goodreads widget on the right. Despite the fact that I pretty much slugged through the first half of the book (I blame school for this!) I managed to pick up the pace when things turned disturbing and I managed to finish the rest of it today. By the end of it, I was stunned, more at the twisted plot than at the narration. Imagine if this is what Malaysian students have for literature study instead; it really makes you think.

And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.