Of Ice, Soot And More

It’s a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit when you’re up at 9:30 AM, half asleep and stumbling in cotton pyjamas and your university’s thin cotton CS Frosh tee that has somehow turned into your nightdress top while the sun shines bright outside and streams down the window onto your now seemingly out of place Christmas tree.

It’s a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit when everyone around you is in their most hideous Christmas sweaters (and I mean sweaters that scream Christmas with lights and sound to go with it, probably) and you’re in a cotton shirt and everyone thinks you’re an alien for not feeling cold in the slightest.

It’s at that point that you take things into your own hand to make yourself feel Christmassy.

You do everything from dressing like a candy cane to coming one step short of volunteering to be Santa and climbing up the chimney for a sweep.


But Christmas eating is such a miraculous mess that I have no idea how they feed kids the idea of someone who’s been holidaying for a few weeks and feasting on sugary treats coming down a narrow chimney wearing white and red—white! As the French say, quelle horreur! How will Monsieur Santa ever get his nice new white clothes clean?

(Out of nowhere, you hear a chime and a jingle. From out of the chimney somewhere nearby or out of your hot cocoa, whichever is more convenient, a well dressed woman steps out, curiously enough, she is immaculately dressed for someone stepping out of your chimney that was last swept—two weeks–? Two… years!? Honey, you haven’t cleaned the chimney in two years?

Anyway, the woman steps out and smiles a dazzling, Happy Dent white smile (why a woman you ask? I’m casting!) and asks you, “Are you having trouble with stubborn stains? Is the soot on your duds resistant even to Santa magic?

What you need is the all-new Tide Holiday Home Magic TM. It’s E-Zée Clean formula TM makes sticky stains vanish! And with its Holiday Special Peppermint fragrance, you’ll be smelling like Christmas all season. So go on up ahead, climb that chimney!” And the woman nods to Santa who sticks a shoulder up the chimney and the camera puts him in the background and focuses on you. Weird grunting noises follow. You call out, “Santa?” All you hear in response are muffled sounds. Clearly, Santa’s mouth is stuck up there too. The lady puts a hand to her face but then shrugs and turns to the camera, flashing her pearly whites as she makes a last pass at the camera. Tide TM Holiday Home Magic TM, peppermint. Perfect for your holidays.)

… where was I?

Right, the Christmas spirit. It’s really not that interesting a story. I played Santa for my little cousin without actually going up the chimney. I basically wrapped his presents and ate his cookies.

Doesn’t that count more towards being Santa than dressing up and sitting in a maple while pesky little smart alecs pull on your fake white beard?

But I’ve learnt through an hours-long gift wrapping tenure that present wrapping is a socially constructed nightmare.

What will X think about that awkward fold sticking out the side?

My family shouldn’t care about my crappy wrapping, should they?

*crunching sounds follow as you proceed to cover everything up in a crinkled newspaper*

No, really.

Darn those pesky kids who simply will RIP the paper open and will never the sheer hours gone behind this five square inches’ beautification…


It can kind of get intense.

But I guess at the end of the day, it still is nice to see people so happy and excited to rip open their presents (yes, even the ones who absolutely destroy some quality art of a wrapping sheet) and enjoy their gift.

Just don’t mention that I said that, because I’m an icicle.

Anyway, I don’t feel cold, but a lot of other people do, so keep warm, and have a merry Christmas! (Or a day off, at the very least.)

As snug as that.


You know, when I’d said you would probably never be rid of my endless stream of excited photography, I wasn’t kidding around. The very first of the snow showers has come and gone, and I’ve been busy.

(Clogging up your reader feeds, that is,)

Feast your eyes on this!

My friend said this seemed to belong in a British drama, for some reason. Do you see that happening? Perhaps someone having run and skid across this snow, slipping away from Scotland Yard to hide away in an old, dilapidated Victorian building with carillon bells ringing from a big tower window (Yup, it is actually called a carillon, and I just learned that this month. I can’t just have me going back to plain ol’ ‘church bells’. How bourgeois) as the guy freezes and shakes simultaneously, bells intensifying as the camera whips back and forth from a shot of the panicked man to a troop stained in the colours of the old stained glass windows as we all hold in a breath and wait.

Then it turns out his footprints in the snow practically lead Scotland Yard up to him and we get a very close look at a drop of sweat on our protagonist’s nose (yep, he sure cleaned it out this morning!) before the director decides we deserve to wait another week to know how that ends up.

In fact, it’s quite a European cross-country chase scene. Except they’d probably kick me out of uni for calling that building old. It’s neo-gothic, have some taste.

I don’t know, it’s late, I’m tired I’m generous, I’ll let you come up with your own story for this one; I just get to enjoy this good looking walk home.

Old Yarn

I’ve been away from this space for a while, and this time, it’s totally my fault. I’ve done nothing since my finals ended last week apart from pack my bags and run away from university for a record second time in two months. 

I’m away for three weeks this time, and I have laundry to do when I get back. It’s a waiting disaster. I’ve had a growing laundry pile for the last two weeks (which by some coincidence, happened to correspond very closely with the weeks I’ve had finals, who’d have thought?)  that I’ve been dreading getting down to doing. 

To prevent myself from having to haul any more than two full bags of laundry half the way across our residence halls, I’ve resorted to bundling up my bedsheets and linen and shoving them into my closet and getting rid of my dustbin (trashcan, trashcan, damn you Americanised English speakers) and half the paper napkins I own. It got to a point where my roommate pointed out it felt like I was leaving for six months, and I was still going to have to wash the sheets when I get back. 

In all fairness, she has a point. 

The thing about doing your laundry isn’t even the part where you’re doing your laundry. It’s the part where you’re playing Sherlock with everyone else’s laundry. 

See, we have one laundry room and its shared by eighty kids. 

Now, I’m not trying to build up a horror story here. I can’t know for sure if everyone even does their laundry. Among the ones that do, there are fourteen different  days in two weeks for people to do it. (Don’t kid yourselves, you didn’t do the laundry every week either in college.) 

I’t just that some people re great at leaving their laundry for absolute hours. No one else can use the washers because their washed laundry has been sitting there in a heap since 2 in the afternoon, and you’ve turned up with two bags of dirty clothes and have just finished dinner. 

Walking back with your laundry, down twenty doors, to your room, is a nightmare. Maybe there’s some complex social psychology behind this, but I’ve never seen anybody be super social from under two ginormous bags of sweaty socks. 

So our heads came up with a solution. They left us sticky notes and a pencil. If someone’s taking too long, someone else can take their laundry out for them. If you don’t want anyone taking your laundry out, leave them a note with your room number and get them to remind you the your laundry’s done, no excuses. 

Yes, really, those clean, floral scented socks really are yours, buddy. I know, how technology has advanced. 

It seems like a good move in theory. My brain just happens to kick into 2 AM wanderlust mode a lot earlier than 2 AM these days, so I just see people using it to leave everyone their phone numbers. 

Hey there! Yup, that laundry’s mine. If you want me to remove, the room number’s 420. Bring your finished math problem set too. 643-222-1800. Call me, (before 23:59 on Thursday) maybe?

Like I said, that’s probably just me. 

In truth, no one ever uses the laundry notes. The waiting game’s begun all over again. 

I walked in one afternoon to do my laundry, I was desperately short on clothes by that point and I walk in hauling my laundry. I also them realised I forgot to bring any soap with me and had to follow through with the ordeal all over again. 

Not finding a washer is bad, I’ll admit it. You need to take everything back and possibly forget about it and then wake up to have an underwear crisis or something. I can’t relate, I don’t know. 

What I do know is that its a million bucks worse to walk in and take out your wet clothes, only to find that none of the dryers are free. 

This particular day, I found a dryer that was done. Of course the owner of the heap inside was blissfully unaware. I waited ten minutes and then decided to inaugurate the laundry note paper. 

I took out the guy’s clothes and left a note telling them that I had. 

Of course I came back an hour later to find the clothes still there, with my note still stuck to their sock. 

I’m going to have to do my laundry when I get back in three weeks. 

Hmm… I had something kinda funny to say when I began this post, but I’ve forgotten now. I got too caught up in my own socks’ yarns. 

There go my chances of being a shred of a comedian. 

Melodramatic Fugue In B-Flat Minor

It’s that time of the year again. 

Contradictions galore, as everyone sets out for the battle of a lifetime (or at least, lifetime, until the next time).

Conflicted souls unsure of the direction they’re headed in, often found mumbling something along the lines of, “I can’t see, am I moving forward or backwards?” and stumbling in the dark of the 3 AM blackness. 

People simultaneously knowing, for the first time, what they need to do (and what they really need to get done) and yet having no idea what they’re doing. 

People hitting their creative highs and yet staring up from the depths of despair, hopelessness and unproductivity.

The one time where half the fight is even knowing whether procrastination’s the enemy or a warm arm around a shoulder.

It’s finals season, and heck, I probably personify all I’ve just said, I don’t think I could get worse.

Or, depending on how you look at that, my highest best. 

In the yellowish aura of my Christmas lights. Can we skip ahead to Christmas already? It sounds a lot nicer than two finals a day.

It seems I must run dry in either one department, I can’t have them both. 

I’ll just take advantage of that fact every once in a while for what it’s worth, and other times, physics will be my bride. 

Ew. Of course, my physics textbook features even in the orange video. 

In the meanwhile, eat oranges and look sharp!

Winter’s coming!