Saturday, 5 May 2018

Why We Need To Stop Buying Souvenirs - Giver’s POV

So you're on holiday and you want to pick up a few things for your folks back home. If you want to, that's perfectly fine, but it’s not something you have to do. Here's why:

- People are not entitled to presents because you went travelling. 

Especially those who don’t even tell you what they want but still expect something, because then you're saddled with the additional task of magically guessing what they might want.

(Also, unless you're a little kid or someone I'm very close to, it's not cool to ask me what I've brought for you. In fact, being greeted with that question makes me want to give your gift away to someone else.)

- The actual process of buying souvenirs is a headache

So, you see a souvenir store and decide on buying everything in one place. Should make things easy, right? Ha ha, you wish. Here are a few of the multiple muddling questions you'll have to consider:
  • What kind of gift do you buy? 
    • Something useful? 
    • Something nice-looking? 
    • Something thoughtful? 
    • Something unique? 
  • How much money are you willing to spend?
    • Should you bargain?
  • Whom do you buy for?
    • People you like the most?
    • People who will appreciate your gift? 
    • People you interact with a lot? 
    • People who give you lots of things? 
    • People who will sulk if you don’t bring them something?
  • How much space and weight allowance do you have?
Even after all this careful consideration, it's possible you might leave out someone you really wanted to buy something for.

Where does it end? (Rhetorical question. It doesn't.) In the spirit of keeping it simple, I suggest you don’t even start.

- You’re there to enjoy your holiday

Yes, it's too bad your friend couldn't join you on your holiday. Yes, it helps that you know exactly what they'll like from [place you're going to]. This doesn't mean you should feel compelled to go out of your way to buy it, even if it has been specifically requested.

Sure, you’d love to make someone happy by bringing them what they want, but it shouldn't be at the cost of your peace of mind. By all means, ask where one gets [requested object] and look for it wherever you go, but don't plan a trip to someplace miles away or to a shady neighbourhood just to obtain it.

If you completely forget or simply don’t want to bother, that’s fine too. If s/he if a true friend, s/he will understand. You've most likely spent a lot of time, effort, and money on your holiday. You deserve to enjoy it.

Receiving souvenirs can also be messy business, but that is a matter for another post.  

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

It's Freddie Highmore's Birthday!

I don’t relish the idea of watching medical dramas. The thought of all the blood and slicing and focus on gore-covered organs is nauseating and instantly off-putting. Nobody is literally beautiful on the inside, in my opinion. This is the main reason I chose to stay ignorant rather than submit to the mass hysteria that spread like the plague with series like House and Grey’s Anatomy. Medical dramas were not for me, thank you very much. I would happily go through life without watching a single one, without willingly inflicting such suffering upon myself.

Well, that’s what I thought until I saw the promo for The Good Doctor.

It looked very interesting, as most trailers do, but what caught my attention was the lead actor. There was something so familiar about him. Freddie Highmore.

I get very excited on unexpectedly seeing someone familiar onscreen. The excitement is directly proportional to how much I like someone and, often, the amount of time and energy spent in finding out who that someone is and where I've seen him/her before.

So, I figured that since they were airing the first two episodes of what seemed like an interesting show which happened to star someone I knew when he was "yea high", I had to check it out. Since it would be on TV, they’d probably censor some of the gory stuff with the careful precision of doctors cutting open patients. (I’m kidding, I know TV doesn’t care to be subtle about censoring)

Well, they did not edit out gory bits. But apart from that, the series is lovely. I'm not sure how different it is from other medical dramas - a gifted doctor who isn’t quite understood by most people shows up at a hospital and makes you wonder how many people who died there could have been saved if he'd been there before. There are some surgical procedures that are shown in excruciatingly graphic detail, but everything else is quite pleasant to watch, although it's often quite emotionally heavy.

There are lots of lovely characters, including gentle, kind Dr Glassman and sweet, spunky Dr Brown, but Shaun Murphy is quite possibly the most beautiful character I've seen on TV in a long time (or, quite possibly, ever). I may be a little biased since I already love Freddie Highmore, but he makes Murphy instantly likeable, and everything about him feels authentic. He reminds me of a high-functioning autistic student I had - the incredible elephant memory, the visualisation of places as maps, the attention to detail, the discomfort with physical contact, the repetition of words and phrases when upset, and so on.

Murphy is so adorable and simple he'll make you laugh and cry, often at the same time. I love that part in the pilot where he talks about wanting to make lots of money so he can buy a TV (and his TV is, in itself, pretty darn adorable). One of my favourite moments on the show so far is when he says he likes Hershey because "Lea is there". Hits you right in the feels.

The Good Doctor is moving but not depressing, and I love it (/him) enough to watch every single episode despite all the blood and gore. Kudos to the writers and everyone involved in making this. And thank you, Freddie Highmore. You're awesome. Here's to many more wonderful characters. Happy birthday.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Hanger Games

Every once in a while, inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources, such as a trending hashtag you happen to see one day. This one behind this post was #DressAFilm

Movies referenced here: Kill Bill, Scarface, The Hunger Games, Die Hard, Die Another Day, and How the West Was Won. Oh, and also Take the Lead (but that was accidental, so there isn't a dressed version of that here).