Midnight Tempo

Midnight has this power to arouse your inner peace. My second Listopia is all about midnight chill and relaxation featuring my personal favorite, Chet Faker.

If you’re a night owl, you know too well that midnight is just the perfect time to do your craft. Let it be painting, writing – anything that you do with all your heart. Midnight brings this feeling of euphoric loneliness; the feeling that no one is watching you, no one expects anything from you. You are on your own little world, and you can perfect everything, not out of fear of criticism, but out of passion. Its a perfect time for your own version of perfection.

On the other hand, there are some nights when it is also perfect to do nothing. The art of doing nothing; to finally relax after a long day, slip into your comfortable shirt, plant yourself on the couch, and listen to music. Chet Faker, is the best  for this lazy kind of midnight. If you are into downtempo and soul music, Chet Faker is a treat.

Chet is the master of intimacy. His songs can actually be a good soundtrack for passionate midnight loving, if you know what I mean… But he can also be  a good company if you are enjoying your time alone like me. A good background noise to pair up with your usual coffee, tea, or ice cold beer? wine? or  – just grab your comfort drink and chill.

Here are my top 5 personal favorites:

#5  Terms & Conditions

#4 Love & Feeling

#3 Gold

#2. Talk is Cheap

#1 No Diggity

I first heard Chet Faker from his viral YouTube video, No Diggity. It’s a cover he played with his friends and it is  really good, so it has been passed on (and on and on).

He’s been my midnight tune since then. Some of you may already know him, but if you haven’t heard him yet, then give him a try. I’m sure he’ll  be setting the mood of your next midnight.

Featured Image was from MTV.com
More from Chet Faker here:  Nick Murphy (Chet Faker)
Weekly prompt: Discover Challenge: Song


How Can a Photograph Capture the Image of a Person Falling Apart?

I stared at the black and white photograph, “Is this how unhappy I look like?” I hadn’t realized it before. I was never beautiful, but looking at this picture.. This is not me. This can’t be me. This is far from the remark of “Oh. I look so ugly”

I took the photograph, studied a bit more closely. Is this how people see me? Since when did I look this empty?

Day by day, for years, I’ve watched confidence fade away. I’ve cut my hair short. I’ve given up on any pity attempt to look pretty. I neglected myself for a very long time. I look so dull and wasted, tired and drained. This hopeless face can never be covered up. This depressing, decaying body cannot be dressed up. Look a little more closely, you’ll cringe. You’ll cringe at the person beneath this veneer body.

Hate reflects. I didn’t know it reflects. People can actually see through me. How can I not know? I’ve been hiding all of this. I’ve been hiding. I’ve been hiding all this time.

How can a decent photograph capture the image of a person falling apart?

How farther can I descent?

What will I look like next year?

Where will shame and insecurities lead me to?

Is this photograph my cry for help?

Look at what you’ve done.

What have you done to yourself?

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”― Ted Grant

Actual photograph

The photograph was taken by our Photojournalism professor. It will be shown at our university’s photo exhibit next week. It is a black and white portrait of me. I have seen the photograph just a few minutes before writing this. It is like meeting my self for the very first time. A revelation of how I’ve let myself down. A potential wake-up call to pull myself up.

Guts Booster

Now, to brighten the blogging vibe a little, I’ll be having Music Mondays! I will start giving out weekly supply of ear candies to help you get back up after a bad day or to accompany you if you are having one!

For the longest time, I’ve been always rooting for music, discovering and rediscovering songs to relate and jive with. This playlist ignites my old-school-young soul before  I dive back into fast-moving-and-exhausting adult world. I am building up my library of early 90’s songs. Guts Booster is a compilation of songs from the 90’s and early 00’s that I have been frequently listening to these days. These are the songs I turn to whenever I feel the different kind of tired, defeated after a bad day or when I am trying to brighten up a new one.

I’m going to use the clichè line “this song saved my life”, because all of this of kind of did:

5. Today by Smashing Pumpkins

4. Float On by Modest Mouse

3. No Rain by Blind Melon

2. All Star by Smash Mouth


1. You Get What You Give by New Radicals

Here’s the complete playlist I created on Youtube:

Listopia #1 Guts Booster.

The featured photo was from Pixabay.com

How To Make a Helpful Book Review

Book reviews are fun to write, but if you want to make a helpful review for your fellow readers to read, here are some guidelines on how to give your book review a valuable content. Having guidelines will help you establish your own writing structure.  It is important to make a regular structure on how are you going to evaluate the books you have read, so it will be easier for you to write book reviews on the next hundreds of books you’ll read and evaluate. Here are some elements you might want to consider:

  1. Rating

You have to specify your rating. Set a range from 1 – 5, but what would be the specifications of these ratings? You must also set your own standard, for example:

5 – Excellent writing technique/style, excellent plot or story. Simply just one of the books you have deeply and exquisitely delved into.
4 – Good writing technique/style with a steady story. One of the good books you have enjoyed.
3 – Average. Was able to make you turn from page to page. Usually, 3 out of 5 books are the kind of books that are easy enough to read, but not that good enough to really get lost into.
2 – Gave you a hard time to finish the entire book. Either, you didn’t like the writing style or it has an unbearably slow or fast pace of the story, or you just didn’t like the story enough to get a little, even a bit hooked.
1 – You give this kind of rating to the books that are painful to read. You give 1 out of 5 stars to the books that you did not finish, even if you tried. 1 out of 5 stars simply means, it’s just not your kind of book.

  1. Summary

Your summary has to be very short, and be aware of giving out spoilers. Be careful not to give out the climax or the plot twist or, of course, the ending of the story. Just give the essentials, like the answer to the question: “What is this book all about?”

  1. Characters

You might want to add the descriptions of the main characters, or just one of your favorites. You will not resist the drive to give a short description of the character, especially when the author made you feel like this person is someone you just have known thoroughly, like you know more about this character than that new friend of yours you just met and you hang out with.

  1. Reaction

I cannot specify what kind of reaction would this be, but this is the most vital element of your review. What was your reaction to this book? Did you like the writing style? Do you agree to the author’s or character’s view? Is there something that you can absolutely relate to, and you just couldn’t agree more to the point of view of the character or the direction of the story? How was the author able to tackle some sensitive topics like miscarriage, marriage, depression, loneliness? Give your reaction or reactions or mixed and contradicting and complex emotions about the book, how does this book made you feel? This element will give way to your personal touch. There is no right or wrong reactions, it is your review and, your reactions no matter how absurd there are – are valid.

  1. Recommendation

To whom would you recommend this novel or book? Would you recommend this to someone who is into Magical Realism, or if the novel has similarities to the novels of a certain author, would you recommend it to those who also loved Haruki Murakami, for instance? Or would you recommend this book to your girlfriends who feel a little bit lost in life (assuming you just read Eat, Pray, Love), or would you recommend this book to your geek guy friends who loved Lord of the Rings Trilogy?

These elements only serve as a simple guide in writing book reviews. You can be complex,  you can make your own structure. But for starters, this will do. Hope this was helpful. And by the way, if you just read something beautiful, please feel free to drop the book title under comments. Now, bury your nose back to what you are reading and keep those pages turning!

The featured image was from Pixabay.com

Rage and Hibernation

I can’t believe someone could be that colorless. You’re right. I’d use the word pale. But that seems like an understatement. When you see her, you might as well grab a TV remote and ramp up the color intensity. Yes, that girl. Have you noticed how her skin glows? No, not that kind of glow. Her skin is so white, it glows.  You know why we don’t see her that much? We don’t see her around that much. Yes, so I’ve heard. Did you see the slashes on her wrist? I can’t take it off my mind. The scars are even paler than her skinny wrists. It’s not a good sight. Do you know why we don’t see her that much? Well, seems like I know something you don’t know.

So listen closely. I’ve met her old friend, Anna. They were pretty close. Yes. Were. But I’ve got to warn you, this Anna is crazy. There is definitely wrong with her, but she’s fun to talk to. And when she talks, I can’t seem to look away from her.. nose ring. Don’t laugh at me. You won’t help it. It’s gleaming. And her eyes.. her eyes are hypnotic. Oh, right! Anna. I was talking to her when she passed by. Anna just stared at her old friend. “She should’ve just killed herself.” Yes, that’s what Anna said. “She’s walking around dragging everyone down, she’s painful to watch. She knows it herself, so she kept herself away, locked up in her house. Not getting out, until she’s better.” She even added.

Do you know what happened to her? She’s once filled with confidence. Almost proud. Her mom, is as kind as any moms get  but she can’t control her daughter. They always argue. The way she talks to her mom, she’s going to be wait-listed in hell. She’s having problems with her rage back then. By the time she wakes up, she feels so angry to no particular person, no particular reason. Anger just fills her up. Her mom is still so kind to her that anger is often mixed with guilt. It is driving her even more crazy.

One night, when she’s having her usual argument with her mom,some misunderstanding. Anna was there, hanging out upstairs, inside her old friend’s room. She can hear her friend from the dining room. The argument went into halt. This girl, she walked up the stairs, stomping at every step, screaming on top of her lungs. She was so mad, she went straight to her bathroom. She didn’t bother looking at her friend waiting for her. She went straight to the bathroom door and slammed it. A few moments have passed and all there is is silence. Anna couldn’t take the ringing peace, and decided to check on her old friend. There, sitting on the floor, her right wrist were slashed, multiple times. Like she never stopped slashing it until she calmed down. Anna called 911. She thought her friend died during her watch.

She didn’t tell me how she felt, if she’s shocked or.. She just told the story like it is something factual, you know? I don’t know how she managed to tell the tale with a hollowed voice. She knew her friend had died. I think, Anna kind of did, too. They never talked after that night.

Prison of Truth

(This is how you lose your youth)

You started to wonder, how you’ve lost your voice
Was it the day you ceased speaking?
Or was it the day you started repeating,
repeating the chant everyone else is saying

You’ve lost your point of view, honey, it was all you.
You are always ready to bend and mold,
To conform, and nod. To find the truth
From different set of lies laid in front of you.
You always choose whatever it is that can fool you.

For years, you’ve been complaining about your lost freedom,
For twenty-two years you have been living,
Six years spent grieving,
Every persona you wore were lined up in a shelf
Six fucking years, spent building a prison for yourself

The next time rage fill you,
While you clasp and shake and grip the bars that surround you,
Remember this, the only thing that can set you free
Is the very thing that confines you.

With Blank Eyes, You Wait

The thing is, it’s a cycle.

You don’t know the reason behind the cycle,
but if you are going to observe it, there is.
For the past few months, you were doing good.
You thought you have finally became stable, okay;
ready to grab any optimism life has to offer.
You were so proud of yourself.

Then there’s this shift.

Slowly, or drastically,
it pulled you again to that pit,
that same pit you fought really hard to escape from.

But you’re at it again,
and this time you don’t know what to do.
It just swallows you.

You have no idea, there is no reason.
There is no clear reason.

You tried to talk to people, for normality’s sake, and it feels fake.
You don’t really feel like talking, but you have to at least try..
You can’t move, everything is forced.

At first, you thought it’s just a bad morning.
You just woke up on the wrong side of your bed.
Then it becomes a bad day.
Then you try to cheer yourself up,
you told yourself, tomorrow is another day.
Then the next day came, and you’re dragging yourself up again.
Then you hadn’t noticed it has been a month, it has been months.
You feel defeated without knowing what you are fighting against.

So you just wait…
With blank eyes, you wait.

Written in August, during the early days of the shift.

(Featured photo was from Pixabay.com)