Reviews, Reflections, Recollections

Just a blog filled with my usual irreverent observations about life and all that.

Location: Singapore, Singapore

enjoys reading and is perpetually trying to find space for all of the books he owns in his room. He also enjoys films, and in particular, going to the cinema. Although a self-confessed trivia buff, reports that he is an insufferable know-it-all are completely unfounded. He enjoys a nice glass of tipple now and then, be it a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a single malt whisky.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Who Are You?

I am a 24 year old male, genus homo sapiens, called Caleb Liu, with varying degrees of accuracy in pronounciation. The last I checked I was a disenchanted student, attempting to answer some of life's more bemusing questions, such as what is the meaning of life? Is there a God? What is morally right? Not to mention the downright perplexing ones like "How is it that it can go from bright sunshine to rain to hail and back to sunshine again in the UK in a span of 5 hours?".

What are your future aspirations?

Well, I will get over the cliched "I want to be happy and fulfilled" bit, taking that as a given, with the proviso that being happy and fulfilled also involves earning a reasonable income - reasonable insofar as I am able to support a semi-decent lifestyle and not have to live in penury. To be honest, otherwise I don't have a clue what I is going to happen next, what the future has in store, what I am going to do with my life etc. It is both a very very scary thing, and also something that is rather exciting as well.

What is happiness?

If I knew the answer to that question, I would be a very very rich person. Well, only if I could bottle it and I managed to market it effectively, but you get the idea. Happiness has been a very transitory thing for me in recent times. I think I have realised what it means to be really happy (as opposed to being merely content, fulfilled, at ease, or enjoying oneself), but only because I have also understood what it means to be truly unhappy as well (as opposed to being merely anxious, restless, bored, disatisfied and others). I could come up with some trite saying, but I refuse to. Happiness is individual. It is perhaps a state of mind, but also a combination of various chemical (im)balances in your physiological state. I think it is interesting that we can define despair and anger and other dark emotions easier than we can define happiness. Happiness for me is cuddling up to a person you truly feel at ease with or curled up in bed with a really wonderful book, or getting a quiz question right faster than everyone else, or seeing an old friend on the street and enchanging banter with him.

What is love? Is there True Love?

People have asked me what love is. I can only parrot Cole Porter: "What is this thing called love? This crazy thing called love? Who can tell its mystery? Why does it make a fool of me?" Or perhaps the bible "love is gentle, love is kind...." or the fact that love is not selfish. I think love is equal parts need and equals parts giving, but it often isn't perfectly balanced. People tell me it is about seeing someone and being able to tell them and more importantly yourself that there is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, irregardless of circumstance. To quote Moulin Rouge "Come What May, I will love you, until my dying day". But perhaps that is as much about YOUR state of mind and you deciding that it is time to settle down as about the person who happens to walk into your life just then.

Any authors that have influenced you?

I have read a great many books that I love, and I am particularly not a person who discriminates. I will make an awful book critic if only because I tend to enjoy a book for what it is, no matter what genre it is written in. That said, I urge everyone to read Neil Gaiman, who is an absolute genius and who writes books that are tremendously beautiful, witty, endearing, fantastic and filled with a life all its own. I would read anything by Neil (and I more or less have). I also think J.M Coetzee is a fascinating writer, who has an interesting mix of fiction and philosophy in his work, and who is adept at peering deep into the human soul and its psyche and probing the depths we would rather avoid. Jeanette Winterson is a wonderfully lyrical writer whose works I have enjoyed immensely. Other books I would recommend unabashedly (at the present moment - my list is perpetually changing) are Atonement by Ian McEwan, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson and of course the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.

Music that changed your life?

I grew up with a huge thing for Bon Jovi and any of their songs is still liable to set me loose. Nirvana was something I played when I wanted to let all the demons out, and I still do, though it was liable to make my parents go nuts. Kind of Blue was a seminal album that sparked a huge interest in jazz. Chopin is a great love of mine particularly the Ballades, Waltzes and Noctures. Eva Cassidy has a voice like an angel and can pierce the darkest hour with a ray of sunshine, Damian Rice is liable to depress, but there is a power to his melancholy.

If you had a day free how would you typically spend it?

To begin with, I would sleep in till at least 10am. Sleeping in is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures. I think I am unfit for the real world due to the fact that I love my sleep and I love staying up late. I think I would potter around the room, and spend a couple of hours online reading news, blogging, playing random web games and generally "wasting" time online as it often wont to happen. I would then wander out to have lunch at a cafe maybe, something simple maybe a sandwich with some soup, and I would then wander into a bookshop to browse for a couple of hours or more depending. I think a late afternoon drink at a pub with some company would be wonderful, or tea maybe, catching up with some friends or an old acquaintance or two. Dinner would be at a nice restaurant, preferably with some company, or else with the most trusty company of all - a book. Afterwards would be a movie/play or concert, or perhaps a Pub Quiz at the Turf Tavern.


Blogger Marbear said...

You don't know me but I read your profile and became very interested with your personality!I only have one question...Being a 15 year old I sometimes get mocked for not believing in true love or love for that matter! Am I truly wrong and doomed for not believing?


27 May, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caleb - the suspense is killing me! Please tell how your exams are coming on.

18 June, 2006  
Blogger Ms Drumknott said...

Caleb - how did the exams go?

marbear - there's nothing wrong with not believing in true love - it doesn't mean you'll never have a romantic and rewarding relationship. Chin up!

28 June, 2006  

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