What is mainstream music?

What is mainstream music?

Adolescence is filled with embarrassing moments and small misfortunes… Here is the story of a young girl who didn’t do her research.


I was in grade 7 and in drama class. If I calculate the year that it was, it would be 2006. This was the time of American boy bands, if I remember correctly. Everyone was sitting around in a circle–we were doing a type of ice-breaker.

For some background, at this age, I was just starting to use the internet. My only mainstream music knowledge, was of the songs I heard in the car on our road trips to a nearby city for groceries. Other than that, I had no other exposure to hit music. HOWEVER, I did play the piano. Does that count? Anyways…

We are back in the circle formation and had just finished going around the circle introducing ourselves. The drama teacher then proceeded to say this: “We’re going to go around the circle again. This time, I want you to tell us a song that you like.”

Uh-oh (Back then, I was oblivious to the embarrassing moment to come).

We started going around the circle again. This time, names of songs popular in the day started to come out.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

“American Idiot”

“Shut Up!”

“Since U Been Gone”

“Teardrops on my Guitar” 

As the bomb slowly rolled closer and closer to me, I became more and more aware of how little I knew about mainstream music.

Finally, as much as I dreaded it, it was my turn.

I was faced with two decisions now; copy someone else’s song idea and pretend that I knew what song it was, or tell the truth. Do you want to know which choice I picked?

Here was my response…






Me: “The Pipe Aria.”

Class: (silence)

Me: “…. by Bach.”

Class: (more silence)

You could hear a pin drop… it was that silent. Okay, maybe not. The floor was carpet.

Needless to say, that experience was mortifying. Just like any other kid who wants to redeem back their “coolness”, I proceeded to research as many hit songs as I could after school and even learned to sing some of them.

Ah, childhood. Can’t be beat.

Hope you found my misfortune amusing, haha! Feel free to share any embarrassing childhood stories you have. I’d be thrilled to read them! 😀


PS – For anyone interested in listening to this “The Pipe Aria”, here it is.

Daily post’s daily prompt: Unpopular


Dear Me of 2017

Dear Me of 2017

Dear Me of 2017,

Right now, I am sitting in the little Guest Room at his house typing this up. I know that to you, resolutions don’t really exist. To you, resolutions are, at most, a reminder to keep improving upon yourself!

Right now, I’m wondering where you are in life, and what you are doing right now. I wonder where you are living and whether you have decided to work or pursue Graduate Studies. However, I know you… Any decision you will have made, is one that I know I can place confidence in.

If there is anything I learned in the year of 2015, it is that nothing is set in stone. I also know, that when adversity strikes, you always manage to rise above it. Besides the couple of white hairs you may get from the stress and tendency to fall into unhealthy habits at those times, from past experience, I know that you only get stronger, smarter, and more efficient afterwards. Two white hairs for the ability to tackle future challenges more easily? Sounds like a good trade. However! Since I realize that you have a tendency to fall into unhealthy habits when stressed, I hope that when this message gets to you, you:

  • Consistently try to get enough sleep, even when you have a lot to do.
  • Have gotten even BETTER at not procrastinating than you are now. 9 times out of 10, you sleep late because you are working on something you could have worked on earlier instead of browse through social media or searching up obscure things on the internet.
  • Have learned to take preemptive measures and get rid of any junk food lying around a week before you expect to be stressed out. I know you’d eat them otherwise… and regret it too.
  • Consistently eat iron-rich foods about a week before that time of the month. Anemia-induced fatigue is not fun… and not productive.
  • Remember not to neglect exercise and attribute it to the excuse that you simply don’t have time. I  know you know that there are many 5-min workout videos on Youtube that you can just play and exercise along with as a work-break.
  • Make an effort to eat healthy… even during bad times. Just because you don’t feel like eating when you feel bad, don’t neglect your body. Make sure that you eat enough and get enough nutrition! Even when you feel bad, you still deserve to be healthy. 🙂

Hmm… I wonder how your Chinese is now (Cantonese and Mandarin). At this moment, I know that I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to practicing it with native speakers. However, I am trying and won’t give up! I want to pave a road to confidence and fluency, and am working hard to meet you at the end of the road!

Also, I hope to see you still working on blogging. Show me that I can make it stick!

I will meet you at the top, you strong, capable, hardworking, caring, smart, and driven woman!

Love from,
Me of 2016

Daily Post Prompt: Write Here, Write Now

Dream Log | January 2, 2016

Dream Log | January 2, 2016

Theme: Family reunion; paddling upstream; strange family dynamics

Dream: I was at a family reunion. My grandpa, which is the stereotypical quiet, old, Asian man, was decked out in a leather biker jacket and donning black shades. It was a weird sight to behold. Also, he was no longer chubby.

At first, my grandma was sitting next to me, but then I suggested to her that she should sit beside Grandpa. So she did and sat beside my thug grandpa with a big smile on her face.

Not everyone had arrived yet… we were still waiting for my sister. I looked out the window and saw a big river. My sister was sitting in a rowboat desperately paddling to fight the current and get to the house. I noticed that the boat was facing the wrong way and face-palmed. I told her that she needed to turn the boat to face the direction that she wanted to go before she could make any progress.

She laughs and turns the boat around before making her way to the house.

My auntie starts to gossip. She talked about someone who got married into the family that requested a lot of monetary donations of well-wishes… but refused to dish out to any of the other weddings that she went to. Okay Auntie… I don’t know this person.


Possible Interpretation: Not much. It was a pretty random dream. I think the only takeaway, is that even though I don’t talk to them much, my family is still close to my heart.


MOTD | December 30, 2015

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – Shawshank Redemption


I have a bad habit.

Last night, my roommate came back at around midnight and we spent until 3am talking and catching up about what happened over the holidays.

I slept in this morning. I couldn’t be helped, I thought. If I sleep late, of course I’m going to wake up late. Anyways…

I think we can all agree on one thing–everyone has 24 hours in a day to work with. I know this as well… however, I spent the next hour lying in bed wishing that there were more hours in a day instead.

It wasn’t until I got out of bed, when I realized how counter-productive my thinking was. Did I really just spend an hour in bed wishing that there were more hours in a day? Yes, I did. That is a bad habit of mine; this is not the first time I have thought this.

We all have 24 hours in a day. Let’s all try to make the best of what time we have instead of wasting precious time wishing there was more of it. This is a reminder to myself more than anything else!

Dream Log | December 29, 2015

Theme: Facing adversity and believing in myself… through a wrestling dream. Okay, I’ll take it!


I was in a wrestling competition. I thought to myself, “Huh. This is weird, I can’t wrestle.” However, I did take a wrestling unit in my Phys. Ed. class in high school. Plus my core and leg strength was not bad. Also, I have been doing some bouldering so my arm and back strength was also decent.

I turned to look at my first opponent… it was my sister!! The match was a blur. I remember myself pinning her down and winning. Then, I defeated a line-up of other people increasing in weight. Soon, I was pitted against a girl that was almost twice my weight.

Suddenly, I remembered my weight. I told the people in charge that she was not in the same weight class as me. I was only 108lbs; she was around 200lbs. The person ignored me and the match began. I changed points of view with someone in the audience and saw my muscles grow twice their size. Then, I saw myself picking up the girl and throwing her over my shoulder and pinning her down.

I won! Even when faced with someone I wasn’t sure I could beat. I wasn’t given the option of backing down and didn’t give myself a reason to. I charged head-on and rose victorious.

Interpretation: Maybe this is my subconscious’s way of telling me that I will be able to conquer any adversity I face in life… as long as I don’t back down. As weird of a dream this was, I feel a very inspired to keep working towards my goals. I will become strong mentally and physically!!


Small Wins | It’s that busy time of the year

Ah! I mentioned in a previous post how hectic my last couple weeks were. I even had a couple disturbing dreams to remind my sleeping self that I was not safe, haha! Now, I shall gather up the small wins!

For those who like the short and sweet, I:
1) Successfully studied for my final exam, while completing a big surprise website editing job!
2) Finished shopping for all my Christmas presents and wrote all my Christmas cards without feeling like a chicken running around with my head cut off.
3) Started to get back into the habit of working out 2-3 times a week.
4) Started to blog at least 1x/week consistently. I’ll try to keep it up!
5) Started learning Mandarin again after a month-long hiatus!
6) Made homemade shampoo for the first time.

Successful final exam studying!
This one was a bit of a nightmare. In my immunology class, the lectures were separated into 3 different chunks, with three different professors. The first 2 were excellent, but then the final lecturer gave us all a run for our money. Slides were zoomed by and no apparent connections could be drawn. When I started studying, I felt like I was learning all the material again… this time on my own. Many classmates shared this sentiment with a shared motto of, “My textbook will save me!” The best part was that 62% of the marks were questions the final lecturer wrote. I’m sure the textbook saved a lot of students, especially since all the diagrams she used were from the textbook… with full explanations. The test was okay. I left feeling a little dazed but I know that I did “decent”. Maybe a B. Maybe a B+. Who knows. Anyways, no time to waste wondering what it is when it will come out on its own.

Finished a big website editing job that started during my study week.
This was pretty scary. Imagine sitting down to study and then finding out that you have to edit 10000 words of text at the same time! Glad to say that I finished this job and earned a little pocket money. Good thing I printed all of my study notes, or else I would have easily spent 8 hours per day staring into a computer screen.

Kept up a habit of blogging at least once a week.
This was pretty difficult as well. When I first started off, I wrote a couple posts. But then, even though the inspiration was still there, I felt I had too much work to do in real life to write at leisure on a blog. I think I went a whole month without posting anything else. I changed my mindset though and created many creative outlets for myself in the form of categories to just blog whenever I feel like typing something out. Maybe an interesting thought one day, a weird dream on another.

Finished all my Christmas shopping and card-writing.
This was a pretty big feat! I decided to start them early so that I wouldn’t have to worry about them during exam week and so that I wouldn’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Started going to the gym and boulder again after a 2-week hiatus.
I think I lost some muscle mass because of the hiatus because I now weigh the lowest I ever did… without making any big changes to my diet.

Made homemade shampoo.
Okay, not technically. I basically added aloe juice and essential oils to a shampoo base. Customized smell though? Haha!

Started learning Mandarin again after a month-long hiatus.
Hiatus. Would not recommend. I learn through flashcards and podcasts so after this hiatus, I stocked up over a thousand flashcards that were “Ready for Review”. That was true terror.


Upcoming small win aims: Keep up the exercise, blogging, and Mandarin learning. What else? We shall see!

Anyways, remember to recount the small wins that you have achieved too! Hopefully, like it does for me, it inspires you to continue chipping away and aiming for more small wins!


Small Wins | Intro to New Category

Small Wins | Intro to New Category

This week was pretty hectic for me, but I’m glad to say that the worst is over.

I’ve decided to start up a new category of posts called “small wins”, where I will be posting about small battles I have overcome or gold nuggets of blessings that come to be.

Sometimes, when you are swamped with things to do, it can feel like you aren’t getting anything done, or that you have fallen behind and need to catch up.

Sometimes, you may even get mad at yourself for not being productive enough, efficient enough, or determined enough. These thoughts can really bring you down, as I have experienced. Every time I rise up above the mass of broken armor and blood, I realize the importance of remembering the small wins. They remind you that all your brain power and physical efforts were not for naught and they provide you with encouragement too.

“See how you were able to succeed in ____? You are capable. What’s next on your to-tackle list? You can do that too!”

Some days, I go through the whole day thinking that I haven’t done anything productive but it wasn’t until I started recording them, that I realized it wasn’t the case.

Let’s all remember the small wins!

Dream Log | December 17, 2015

Today, my neck was hurting and I was dead-tired from studying throughout the night, taking 90-minute naps in place of a whole block of sleep. Maybe that was not the best idea. Maybe this tenseness is from stress. Anyway, onto my dream…

Dream: I was visiting my grandparent’s house. When dinner was prepared, I sat down to eat. After a few bites, I pick up something instinctively with my bare hands. It is an agarose gel slab from my lab–containing ethidium bromide.

For context, ethidium bromide is a dye used to stain nucleic acids for viewing under ultraviolet light. It is also a mutagen because it can squeeze in between your DNA strands and cause the introduction of mutations. Worst case scenario, the mutations can accumulate to the point where you develop cancer.

I had my spoon in one hand and the gel piece in the other. It wasn’t clear if I had eaten any of it but I was scared. I ran out of the house. For some reason, I thought that by getting to my lab, I’d be safe. The transit wasn’t working because of heavy snowfall so I ran, even though my lab was in another city. My phone fell out of my pocket and the when I picked it up, the screen was very cracked. I swore to myself and went back to the house.

I turned on my phone but only certain parts of it could register touch. I remember thinking, “Why did this happen to me?”

Upon waking up: my neck hurt EVEN more. And  was still tired. I tried. Time to go back to sleep. Clocking out at 7:46pm. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow… good thing my exam is in the afternoon.

Dream Log | December 15, 2015

Dream: (short and sweet)

My mother tells my brother that he should work harder at school not because she wants him to have a good future, but because his classmate already has this, this, and that award; also, this boy is good at this, this, and that.

I look at my brother’s face. He has an expression of discouragement and then, of sadness.

That is not the way to encourage someone to improve themselves. I pat my brother’s back and tell him, “Don’t listen to what Mom says. You imagine for yourself what kind of future you want, and what you wish to achieve. Then, YOU make the decisions that you believe will get you there.”

MOTD | December 14, 2015

Ah, for today’s “Musing of the Day”, I have what is more like a “Joke of a Day”

This is inspired by my run-in with a lover of furry animals today.

What’s this?

Source: Here!

Yes, that’s right. It’s a cat stretching. Normally, you wouldn’t think anything about it, but what about now?

Source: Here!

Yes, that’s a dog stretching. Does this spark a memory? Even though these stretches are essentially the same, the dog version gets the limelight. And then, it got me thinking… the person who adapted this stretch to accommodate humans, must have been a dog-lover. This is the “downward dog” in its purest form!

How’s that for a bit of unnecessary enlightenment, haha! ;D Suddenly, I feel like stretching.