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shalina yasuda
14 September 2016 @ 11:54 pm

"How could you love someone so damaged ?" you used to asked.

It was the high from the concoction of nicotine, wine and music
but I still believe there is light even in the darkest of souls.
No one deserves to feel less than what they could be
and I believed you were capable of so much more love and splendor than you led on.

It was to let you know that
despite you clawing and hissing when your walls came down,
I would stay and hold you.
And I would show you compassion and patience
even if the scratches hurt me
because I know you're not a monster,
only someone who have been so deeply hurt,
it made you skeptical and cruel.

Its in hopes you might someday,
when the smoke clears
and the glass is dry
and the music stops,

you'd do the same back.
Current Music: Troubled love - Mullally
shalina yasuda
13 October 2015 @ 01:46 am

"What attracted you to Mama?" I asked my Dad over dinner.
"What do you mean?"
"Like what made you ask her out?"

His gaze shifted to the right and I saw his eyes disappear into a memory.
"Y'Know your mother was beautiful, when we went out no one would think she was my girlfriend." he said, a little more smug than he intended to.

"So you loved her because she was.. hot?"
he laughed and told me more stories about when they were dating.
He told me times where he defended her when she was being bullied at work and times when he almost beat up a guy who was stalking her.
This went on for a bit as if he himself was trying to reason out what he saw in her.

"But what was it that made you want to marry her?"

What he basically told me was there was no formal definition to his love for her. He just felt like he could.
But down the line, they found out it wasn't love, got divorced, moved on and now they're odd friends.
I have long come to terms that they are much happier apart though my father, being a parent, still consistantly reassures me he does not hate my mother but adds that this does not mean he wants to get back together with her. (#okaydad #igetit #Iamnottwelveanymore)
He still claims he cares deeply about her but struggle to find the words to describe the emotion.

It's like dark energy, I thought.
You can't see it, or explain it.. but you know its there.

For years scientist thought the expansion of the universe was slowing down. They looked seven billion light years into the universe and found that they had it backwards all along, it was actually speeding up. All of a sudden, the entire foundation of physics was in question as the dominant force of the universe was no longer gravity, it was something that opposed it. Not only that, this energy made up 73% of the universe. It made no sense.

Yet astonishingly, in the great scheme of things, it worked.

Maybe this emotion that seemingly opposed love did not necessarily have to be completely negative if it meant a relationship could still work.
I sat there for a another hour, listening to my father try to explain this overwheliming powerful feeling towards my mother, which was not love.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire
shalina yasuda
20 March 2015 @ 09:36 pm

When it came time to wake up at 8:00am,

He sets his alarm for 7:57am.
She sets hers for 8:01am.

They caught sight of each other's alarm times and chuckled.

How funny is it that everything that was profoundly different about them could be epitomized into a bedtime routine.
Current Music: Oh the water - JP Cooper
shalina yasuda
16 March 2015 @ 05:01 am

I have this unhealthy need for closure when it comes to movies.So when I watched the imitation game and found the ending a little.. unsettling. I got the book and just swan dived into this man's life. I managed to fill in the gaps of the movie with the book and the biggest gap in the movie is Turing's other contributions. What the movie doesn't show enough was that he was not all algorithms and machines , he was also very much fascinated with the living. This was illustrated in the book when Turing wrote something similar to what we now know as "the butterfly effect".

" The displacement of a single electron by a billionth of a centimeter
at one moment can make the difference between a man
being killed by an avalanche a year later, or escaping."

Apart from the biggest scientific contribution to science and the victory of WW II,
he was also interested in biology. (Which you can see in the beginning of the film when he was cleaning after a break in)
his works in morphogenesis explores the reason behind seemingly biological random occurrences (like stripes on a zebra or the spiral of sunflower seeds).
He traced these "random" events to a chain of reactions that starts from when the first cell divides.
These findings eventually paved the way to chaos theory.
Which studies the behavior of tiny forces in initial conditions that causes a cumulatively larger effect.

Think about it,
the patterns of snowflakes,
the death of the passengers on the Titanic,
the people in your life,
are the result of a million little interactions.

This means that,
in a moment of infinite possibilities, the outcome is deterministic.

The reference was subtle,
but you get a sense of the tiny events in his life that led him to break enigma and his unfortunate death.
Though the film was largely about his contribution to machines,
the underlying theme still paid homage to his findings with the living.
Not to mention the execution of stacking events in parallel to each other and
humanizing Turing as a man who was just trying to decipher himself was moving.
For that,Graham Moore absolutely hit the nail on the head with capturing the story of Alan Turing.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: put a light on - generationals
shalina yasuda
10 March 2015 @ 03:18 am

I walked through the sheltered walkway of the place i grew up and swore they seemed so much higher.
It had struck me that twenty three years have passed since I was born. Think about it.
Twenty three whole years.

its weird to reduce life to a segments of time because life exist on two realms.
The linear time, which is always punctual, brazen and inevitable
and lived time, which dissolves into memories and becomes bias, unreliable and devoid of schedules.
It lives on a series of timescales where it speeds up some parts, lingers at some and appears fuzzy at others.

and of course,
There is the now which is where the linear and the lived time intertwine.

I thought about the gap of time between the two photos
I thought about the people, events, tears and laughs that filled that gap.
I thought about how the past had a funny way of appearing at inopportune times,
most poignantly in the wee hours of the day.

Young Sha has no idea of the crazy ride that is instored for her.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: moving on- kodaline
shalina yasuda
07 August 2014 @ 01:57 pm

"You know i read somewhere that the Greeks have 6 words for love."
"Its hard to imagine everyone loves the same and yet they have broken it down to six."

She said as she thought of past love.
The ephemeral, the lustful
and the never was.

Some felt like looking at the ocean from land.
Majestic, wild but only touching periodically.
Never really wanting to submerge into each other.

Some felt like hard candy.
Rationing the flavor to prolong the taste
because there was an inevitable end.

Saying that they were the same because they all ended
would almost be cheapening the experience.

"So how do I love?" He asked curiously.

She thought about this for a second because he loves like no other.
He loves like he time traveled back from a time of absolute euphoria
where they were the old couple who still held hands and danced.
He loves with absolute conviction that she is the reason he wakes up everyday.
And he makes her believe it.
In this same future, he loses her unexpectedly
and somehow his broken heart transcended time and space,
to bring him back to do it all over again.
That's the only way she could put it.
How else can he say he knew instantly when he saw her.
How else can one continue to love so tenderly and so immensely if one didn't know the future.

For a second, as insane as it sounds, she humored the probability of time travel.
If that was all true, how long was he able to stay in this time?
She glanced at him and the thought of losing him frightened her.

She leaned into him, preparing to divulge her knowledge of his secret.
"You love like everyday was a stolen day," she answered.
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
Current Music: mighty oaks- just one day
shalina yasuda
22 January 2014 @ 03:47 pm

I have never been in a place where the facilities were tailor made to meet tourist demands so quickly. The place i was at was like a remake of Shinjuku only with very very different forms of .. entertainment. The malls i went to in the afternoon had floor after floor of japanese restaurants and shops. But you're not here to read about my review on pad thai or how my shock of make shift dildo stalls on the street markets fade like my reaction to ladyboys after seeing so many of them.

Its not a party in Bangkok until you have to cover your face to tell the story at one point of time. I might lose some friends and possibly be seen in a different light after this. but this is my "one time in Bangkok" story. Its no hang over movie and the closest thing to a face tattoo was the words "poop" written on my leg while i slept on the plane.

After a japanese dinner i found myself here.


The neon lights together with the very enthusiastic club promoters pulled me into the very shady walkway of people shouting "Konichiwa!" , " Ni hao!" as an attempt to get us in. Felt like a game show of "guess that race" walking through it, as if i will enter the first club that can guess my race. I was in Bangkok, what the hell right.

I went into a boys gogo bar and there is no where to go for a straight girl because if you go to a girl's bar, BAM men. boys bar.. BAM gay men. I got looks and nodded at the 3 other girls in the bar amongst the sea of men. I felt like a drunk in a mosque. So i sat there drinking with a friend, looking at the boys in tighty whiteties standing on stage. Then after about 30 mins, dancers in cowboy boots came out and did a couple of fist pumps. It was cute but nothing like the Bangkok I had built in my mind. "This isn't so bad." I naively thought.

Then the lights dimmed as the dancers exited, stage left. I sat in anticipation to see what was about to happen next. Apparently, unbeknownst to me at that time, the "big cock show" was about to start. This was far from a prance across the hen house. Imagine my surprise when men, looking like they were dressed by the village people, came out.. living up to the title of the show. I thought there were drugs in my drink and i was on a trip. In the words of my friend Graham, it could only be described as a baby's arm holding an apple. I choked on my drink.

And after that, the stage cleared for the shemale big cock show. I've never felt so impressed and perturbed at the same time. I saw men purchasing men and it felt different from the time i went into the girl version of all of this the day before with mum. I had so many burning unanswered questions. When 7 men and 1 whip came out, the announcer hyped up the crowd for .. wait for it.. the fuck show. My first thought was,

"Shouldn't it be an even number of people?"

My doubt was cleared very graphically 2 mins into the show and i drew the line. I left and walked around for a bit. Stumbled into a few bars and one of which was girls and ladyboys bar. It was pretty easy to pick out the ladyboys from the ladies. They were gorgeous. I shit you not. The line of ladyboys looked like Girls Generation if they were going through a low point in their career.

The night went on and I started to ask a few thai locals there where was a good place to go. 2 guys asked my friend and I if I liked thai music. After some talking, they brought us to a HUGE restaurant styled thai club. (side note kids, stranger danger is real.)  It was a little far from where the main bars were at. For the sake of the story, lets call these two men, Tom and Guy. On the way to the bar, it was mentioned that they worked at a boys bar. So I was partying in a place where there was live thai music in room full of lady boys and SDG$36 bottle of whisky.. with show boys.

It was amazing. The DJ said something in Thai and the crowd responded with woos and yeahs. So my friend and i chimed in not wanting to be left out. Tom and guy broke out laughing because apparently the DJ said "LADYBOYS SAY YEAH!" And that, boys and girls, is how i know Kathoey means ladyboy in thai. For the next couple of days, this song was stuck in my head.

 Half a bottle whisky in I asked Tom how it was like working in a boys club. From the broken 3 worded sentences, i could only gather very brief but still shocking insights. He said it was like a big family in there because the bar gives them food and shelter. Growing up in the country, his parents used to work in BKK and come back home. At 14, he worked illegally at 7eleven at SGD$70 a month and when he got an offical permit to work, he drove a taxi at night while studying in the day for SGD$200 a month to support his sister, grandmother and parents. I asked who the lady on Guy's necklace was and Tom said, "His mama. She dead." "Brother, sister? " " No."

I then asked if he was straight, he said they both were. So i asked what he would do if a guy customer were to buy them home, he said, very matter-of-factly, "Its work, I go." " Do you sleep with them?" " Yes, but no strong." He gestured to his crotch, "Not good sex because I don't like boy." He told me that before he started work in the boys bar, he thought for a really long time before working there. He said "no money, no honey" and that his wife left him because of money problems and that he could make what he was making in a month previously in a day at the bar. I asked which customer he didn't like, he responded with "Europeans" because they talked too fast and too much. He didn't understand them very well. He also mentioned that Japanese men were very touchy.

Can i just say, I am very impressed with myself for even remembering all this after a full bottle of whisky between 3 people only coz Tom was driving. He offered to give my friend and I a lift back to the hotel. (Again kids, I am obliged to say this was a very calculated risk. Be weary of stranger danger.) In the car guy asks if I could help with filling up his ED card because a customer in Vietnam bought him a ticket to fly over. He didn't know how to write or even speak much english so I filled it up for him. When they walked us to our hotel and asked if we wanted to sleep with them, we told them they didn't need to because we weren't interested and that I was sharing a bed with my mum. I reckon it was a way to get money out of us so to end the night, i gave him about 300 bhat for gas and the drinks and hugged and thanked them for a good last night in Bangkok. It wasn't a large amount and I guess i also felt bad after hearing his story , be it true or not.

So there you go.

I paid a hooker for a hug in Bangkok.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: ตื๊ด กระแต อาร์ สยาม
shalina yasuda
25 December 2013 @ 07:31 pm

I think a part of me always knew I could never fall completely in love with someone. I fall for and live for moments. I know i have more stories to tell than the average 21 year old because after dedicating almost 2 decades of my life of doing what everyone else was doing, I was uncomfortable and unhappy. I then made the conscious decision to put myself in unconventional situations with nothing but blind faith in chance and a mantra of "I'll figure it out"

What i came to realize is that I don't think anyone really knows what they're doing. We're all reacting the best we can. I have gotten to know the people behind the big decision and they have gotten to where they are accepting the fact that nothing is a sure thing and failures are but a meaningful arc in one's life. Uncertainty is so natural it even exist in the very things that make up the universe in the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. I never understood why a part of us will strive and want to make sense of things. Should we buy that ticket? what is he thinking? is this right? where is the exact position of a particle?

My greatest take away from wandering is that you will never know why things happen until you measure it against the fullness of time. let me paint you a word picture. You have been saving up for a US trip for months by now and you can't wait to spend a summer there. Its been on your bucket list for ages and you can't wait to finally be able to cross it off. You get an e-mail telling you, hey you need to take a retest on a subject you absolutely hate on, surprise surprise,  the week you planned to travel. There was no room for negotiation and your summer plans have come to a stand still. So you find yourself sacrificing something you love for something you wished would burn and die a slow painful death in the firey pit of doom. twice.

So you're stuck in a mundane job you took to pay for a trip that will not happen after reading this e-mail. You look around in your tiny cubicle, livid and desolate. There's still 5 hours until you can clock out and you're left to bottle up all the frustration.

then your phone buzzes. You check it and its from a friend who wanted to thank you for showing them around while they were there. He asks how you're doing. Not wanting to throw your burdens on to anyone else, you say you've just got some bad news on the US trip but you're okay. He replies quite matter-of factly. "I'm sorry to hear, why not just do something else on your bucket list?"

Have you ever heard a snap as a fictional light switched on in your mind?

"What you reckon?"
"Come to Amsterdam."
"y'know what? fuck it, why not."

2 months later, you discovered your favorite city in the world and did things beyond your wildest dreams. Getting that e-mail was the start to one of the greatest get away you'd ever experience.

Now, I'm not saying lets all make reckless decisions and hashtag that photo of regret with yolo. There is a story between a sage and a young man in the alchemist that might summarize the balance perfectly. The sage wanted to teach the man about happiness. He told the man to walk through his palace for 2 hours under the condition that he carries with him a spoon with 2 drops of oil which he is not allowed to spill. The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?” Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him. The sage then asked the boy to return to the palace and appreciate all the beauty in the palace. The man came back, this time, with an empty spoon.

“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages.
“The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

We might think we have shit figured out, but we really don't. We might be able to multiply numbers, speak multiple languages, know how to program a computer that can predict stock prices and what we want for breakfast tomorrow or have memorized textbooks on euler's number. Its impressive but we have no idea why things happen or develop in the way it did. For all we know, you could be in the middle of your best day ever right now.

Even Heisenberg couldn't figure out what the precise position of the particle without losing precision on the momentum of it, why should we sweat the small stuff. Be aware of the danger then grin at it. The success rate is almost always 50/50 anyway so fall in love with your cup of coffee, that sun rise, getting the groceries. If there's a nagging feeling in you to do something, pursue it while not spilling the 2 drops of oil. Fall in love with moments and places and scatter your heart everywhere you go. And who knows, you might meet someone who or a place that consistently give you moments to fall in love with.

Hey, it sure beats the alternative of anxiety. 
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Kodaline- pure
shalina yasuda
03 November 2013 @ 04:23 am

I know I have been flooding twitter with complains about architecture, how I'm not getting enough sleep and spending so much paper on paper. But let me put down the coffee, wash the glue outta my hands and take a moment to switch to a more positive note and talk about why I love architecture.

I've been repeatedly told that its a career path i should only take if i love it, people tell me its demanding, its not paid very well and so on. Meeting various working architects in clubs and bars and listening to their intoxicated confessions, I got the sense that being in the industry is much like being in a bitter sweet marriage. The kind where you can neither live with or live without her. And for people who aren't in the industry, they often ask "so you can draw a lot huh?" Its not only the fact that its so much more than doodling professionally, it annoys me that few see or appreciate the nature of a creative field. Bill Ivey wrote every family wants a Picasso on their wall but not in the family, which i thought hit the nail on the head. And though the greats are worshiped from a far, it just seems like people in creative fields aren't taken very seriously. which is a damn shame. Watching my friends at work in their element, be it dance, music, film and visual arts, its so inspiring. And when you listen  to them talk about their passions, it gives me comfort and faith in people because there's a certain kinda sincerity when these people express themselves in their work.

As a whole, you can tell a lot about a place by their monuments. You can tell what they prioritize, their dreams and fears. Its like looking at a painting or listening to a song of the people. In dubai for example, their buildings were very shiny, tall, powerful and armor like. They were all spaced out and strategically placed in their own isolated square. It almost seem that they were on display for an audience who only viewed it from behind a glass in an air-conditioned room. Outside the main city, buildings were incredible spaced out from one another. They take up HUGE areas of land that was caged in with walls to prevent people from coming in, i would know coz i walked the stretch.

case and point, click here.

Being there as well, it was quite obvious it was a very capitalistic city and people valued status, wealth and power very highly. You didn't feel very connected to anyone there in any space. I tried to talk to some sales staff there in cafes, but they made it quite clear they were there to exchange their coffee for my money. They seem so guarded and the conversations that i've had or have overheard have always been about business. I personally didn't quite like the place very much because everything seemed so insincere and standoffish. The sky scrapers there were really just very overpriced and grand car parks.


Then you have places like Amsterdam and Brugge where floor heights are not standardized, buildings are packed together with a cafes on every corner. Graffiti was done tastefully and it made me feel like even though it is graffiti, there was a certain level of respect for the buildings. It was the complete opposite of Dubai. It is also my favorite city by far. I just loved the history from the place. You'd get a glimpse into the 16th century from the stepped gable facades on some of the buildings and the miles of canals that confused me when I was trying to figure out where i was, was the result of transport, water management and defense in the 17th century. Don't even get me started on the 800 year old church that was constructed out of wood. Its an amazing place with a deep respect for its history by keeping the architecture very much alive. It is a great example of how a building can out live and translate the feelings and aims of a time that originated them.

The irony of the digital age is that if we do not instagram it, tweet it, youtube it or facebook it, we might live in a world without memories. And when i look at architecture i see the structures, monuments and buildings as an extension of a culture, an ideal and action of a period. The building itself encompass so much because it is a collective force of symbols. It is an organic connection of art and environment, form and function, beauty and necessity. Architecture interprets a space and forms a link between the past and future. it gives identity to form and form to identity.

It might just be me, but when i study architecture, i feel like i'm discovering myself as well. When I walk around the streets here and during my travels, i drink the city lights and savoir everything around  and let it overwhelm me. I literally feel my being pass through the cut of plane from one space to another.Perhaps that's why I also love travelling so much because I live to be fascinated by the world around me. I know family will always be home in my heart but in terms of a physical space, i don't quite know yet. I have this eternal longing to be in a place I've never been. I never could genuinely call a space a home because I never completely feel at home anywhere. A spiritual nomad. I guess when i study architecture I discover what calls out to me and from there I can figure out this longing and craving for a space i have yet to meet. In architecture, the space is a canvas and like art, the product is always a lens to an ideology and the creator.  The study of architecture is very much the study of one self because architecture defines us.

Architecture isn't just something pretty to look at or a study where you "draw a lot". Its a new way to understand the space the structure occupies.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Kodaline - Latch
shalina yasuda
14 October 2013 @ 02:31 am


Sometimes I feel like I walk around like a passive observer.
A ghost.
I see the micro expressions of people.
I hear it in their tone of voice.
The guilty itch, the perk in the commas of the lips, the furrow of the brow.
I sometimes see a glimpse of a side of which they think they are exerting great willpower to conceal.
For a brief moment they expose themselves.

I see; listen.
But I choose to say nothing.
I get so engrossed in observing, I forget I exist.
In my mind, i write letters to them.
Then, they'll stop talking and shift slightly uncomfortably in place.
"What's wrong?"
"What do you mean?"
"You just seemed sad, thought I'd ask."

Sometimes they tell me, sometimes its nothing.
But they always seem surprised. Like they had dropped their diary and it flipped open.
The micro expressions and tone are like the words I could make out before they pick it up, embarrassed.

In my 21 years of existence, I have noticed that people have scars.
They come in all shape and sizes. But they never completely heal.
They may be sensitive to a song, a name or a memory that decided to knock.
And for a brief moment, the pain makes us wince.
They're not always apparent,but they're there.
I've been there when people talk about their family, their health, their tattoo, their exes.
I listen and when they're done, i stroke the bumps of their scars.
Admiring their cracked perfection.
because i feel that we all want someone who isn't afraid of our scars.
I myself sometimes wish there was a hug strong enough to snap all these broken pieces in place.
Or a friendship strong enough to pick up the pieces with me if I collapse and break into a thousand questions.

But we almost always scramble to pick up the dropped diary.
Afraid that if we leave it out too long, the wind would carry the pages with it
and no one would be there to help us retrieve it from the hurricane of our pain.
Because who likes cleaning up a mess?

Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: JP Cooper- Oh the Water