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“I really do need a girl…”


January 2011




– Image courtesy of Big Media Daily

“…who would support me,” said Jay Chou in a recent Taiwanese interview, according to Asianbite.

Here’s a quick info about the king of Asian pop:

  • Age: 32
  • Sign: Capricorn
  • Plays violin, guitar, piano, flute, and cello.

See how dedicated he is to music? He’s been playing musical instruments since the age of three. That’s twenty-nine years of wandering about the world in rhythms and melodies.

Consider the following irresistible characteristics:

  1. Talented, obviously.
  2. Loves to daydream ever since he was a kid.
  3. Likes novelty; likes to perform magic tricks.
  4. Hopeless romantic.
  5. Shy, quiet, and undeniably cool.
  6. Does not smoke.
  7. Does not drink.
  8. Do: DANCE.
  9. Able to deal with his emo (i.e. through his music career).
  10. Cute in his own ways, i.e. the coughing and the murmuring, plus his hideous hat.


OK. Just dreaming of him makes me melt in desperation.

As you may all know, Jay’s recently hit the Hollywood scenes, which is a major breakthrough in his career in the showbiz. The Green Hornet (which I haven’t seen, but plans to BUY the DVD [Note: I BUY all his stuff]) is now playing in theaters today.

Apparently he admitted having a chemistry with Taiwanese model and actress Lin-Chi Ling.


– Image courtesy of Women’s Beauty Life

 A dash of jealousy is jolting in my stomach.

Despite the issue with the man-should-be-taller-woman-should-be-smaller dating rule, he fully expressed his love-conquers-all attitude, shrugging off the media with a simple reply: “We’re the same height, really.” Standing at 173 cm, along with his talents and other attributes, Jay is a perfect living embodiment of ultimate perfection.

He expressed the following criteria for his supportive dreamgirl: “She must at least understand my music and we can communicate.”

“For someone like me, who puts an emphasis on my career, I really need a girl who will support me. I hope there is such a girl, apart from my mother.”

Help. I’m melting off into the nothingness.

I just want to pinch his cheeks so that they turn pink. I also want him embrace my pink cheeks. Because of him, I made myself 100% huggable too.

WARNING: From hereon, you will be reading nothing but my fiction. I’m switching on my dream mode, as I will be writing an open letter to the man I’ve been a crazy fan for nearly a decade.




Dear Jay, 

When I first listened to you, you seemed uncool to me. In fact, I pretty much judged you by your melody instead of your content. Your songs seemed pretty mainstream to me, and I personally like variety when it comes to music.

And then I started listening to Qing Tian. I know it’s so popular, so I was curious to see why does everybody go gaga over the song. You and your murmur-rapping thing going on – I thought it’s just a matter of trying to be cool, which, to me, is uncool.

I cannot recall how I came to appreciate your music, but it grew very, very slowly – pretty much like love. I listened from one track to another, and coincidentally, my eldest brother, who is just as shy and quiet as you are (but sometimes really cool), is a fan of your music. My closest cousin, too, who’s the exact opposite of shy, quiet, and cool, is a big fan of yours. He’s always updating his library with your music. He also has a special playlist of all of your music – just like I do now. 

And so I started listening to your stuff more and more. I kept watching your videos, following news about you, and followed-up your album releases every year. You are consistent – it just goes to show how serious you are with your work.

And then I bought your albums. And I kept on buying them. And I bought some more of your previous albums. Before I knew it, I’m in love with your music (And other facts about you, from what I heard in the news).

I know your real-life love stories are media-magnets, which is why I don’t trust them, even if the sources are sources I trust. I’ve never met you in my entire life, but hopes to meet you someday, even if it’s just us being in the same same room (that is, probably you having your concert and me watching you among the billions of fangirls out there). After all these years getting to know you through your music and through the scrutinizing eyes of the public, I gradually built up my castles in the sky into a realistic one. I became a media communicator (Guess what? My major is in communications!), though I still cannot understand why I became one, except for the fact that I’m the first-listener of all stories.

All those stories I’ve heard about you, filtered by my distrust of rumors about you, empowered by your positive attitude through your work – it seemed as if my castle, my work, can turn into a reality. As crazy as it may seem, your perfectionistic attitude made me to believe in my daydreaming about you that you are a trustworthy lover in romance. You maintained a good public image in your work and real life, your hardworking personality is like a straight-A schoolboy continuously making your mom proud, your East-meets-West music making a revolution and powerful influence to the industry of music, spreading across Asia and probably, someday, all over the world, all without you realizing your own power. That’s what so cute about you, even though you’re about a third older than my age.

I, too, puts an emphasis on my career, though in my special case of being a woman, I sometimes lose myself in my work, because if I have to choose, I would just rather go on with life searching for the right man for me and support him for all my life rather than working by myself until I die. In your case, I’ve died many times melting in your music and is still able to live and breathe normally. That’s pretty amazing, considering that I listen to your music whenever I’m awake and when I’m about to sleep.

In many ways, your music is just like my work. It’s undoubtedly art; a juxtaposition of rhythms you create with you he-he-ha-hi (Shuang Jie Gun, Ban Shou Ren, et cetera), your Pop/R&B beats that undoubtedly sell in the context of popular music in this modern era, but extrapolated with lingering theories of classical music that undoubtedly sell in the context of timeless music, comparable to the classics composed during European Romantic era, which is why I never get bored listening to your music. For fun and joy, I even sing your songs in public and in the showers, sang your songs on stage in high school, played your music in the piano, and permanently learned to rap Ren Zhe.

And you know what I think? I think that, with your unconventional ways of telling your truth (as opposed to other celebrities), you’re trying to tell it in a positive light, sans unhealthy manners and with a drug-free attitude, and all the more loving words you juxtaposed in your musical content. Maybe you’re trying to recreate a movement for the next generation so that the little children who Ting Ma Ma De Hua would look up to you with all their smiles. Whatever your ultimate goal is, your music has inspired many people across the world to do RIGHT, not exactly like the perfectionista that I am (just like you), but at the very least, you’ve created another world of your own, where people can never be ashamed of living their realities by dreaming forever.

All I’m trying to say here is, I will never stop supporting you! Plus the following information:

  • I’m 5 cm shorter than you.
  • I’m so much lighter than you, i.e. you can piggyback me, or carry me, or do whatever you want to me.
  • I can sing with you and play with your pink piano. I can also dance with you.
  • I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. Just like you.
  • I trust you!

Please take off your hat (and your shirt) and show off your confidence for as long as you live!!

Truly forever yours, 何沁芸











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Laying back into love


January 2011




It’s the magic number 11-1-11, and I’m reading a magical story published on 1-1-11, A Lazy Resolution That Will Change Your Love Life while surfing CollegeCandy.

Looking back at my last 3 years being single, I’ve learned a lot about love, though I may say that you can never know too much about love. If you do, what’s the point of dating in the first place?

I’m also one of those who never make resolution lists every new year. To me, the fireworks symbolizes bursts of new hopes and dreams to look forward to, and hidden beneath those bright lights is a silent reminder that your time living in the here and now is limited. So there’s no point in making a list of changes – might as well do the math in my head and prioritize the most important things to change. Indeed, I do feel better knowing that only 12% of people who make resolutions actually follow through those big life changes.



What do you want?

With relation to the article, let’s head to the love department. The weather’s looking pretty grim. It’s true that I never asked for what I wanted or even have the slightest idea of what I wanted, although I never really have that negative self-talk in my head that I’m “done and done.” Looking back, being single has been, in general, a huge benefit for changing my narrow perspective on dating, love, and relationships.



Commit or not.


My attitude about it is simple: Commitment. I think this has always worked for me in the past when I was in my boy-dependent years, when I my parents didn’t actually allow me to go on dates and I went behind their back. Really, I was at a ripe age of 16-18 – what are the odds of having a successful long-term commitment when your hormones are raging all over the place? Although, it was easier to have guys who really want to commit, knowing that I’m brought up by a strict household and considerably overprotected.

But after those years as I grew up, it’s really not that easy to stumble upon guys who actually ask you out for the purest reasons to commit to you: It’s why you make them laugh, why you made them cry, and how you make him feel like he wants to be a better man.

In the next 3 consecutive years transforming into a whole new person, I welcomed new characteristics into myself, like being nitpicky, insensitive and all, and the transformation has broadened my naive views on so many levels. Psychologically speaking, I think that for whatever reasons I’ve built a wall subconsciously in my head, and successfully kept my distance away from every new people in my life, perhaps to prevent myself from getting hurt. It’s like a defense mechanism, though as I’m pondering on my lazy couch right now and looking back at my younger years of dating, I think that this attitude is completely unrealistic. I mean, how can you expect a guy to commit when you’re just getting to know each other? Now that I’m officially given the “freedom” from my parents, I behaved just the opposite way.



Belief System

So here are my current views on those dating myths mentioned in the article:

I don’t believe that all good guys are taken.
I don’t believe that all guys are douche bags.
I don’t believe that any sane guy does not want to commit at some point in their lives.
And I don’t believe that they only one that one thing. (What are they, animal?)

I don’t believe, I don’t believe. As Kira mentioned, we are our own self-fulfilling prophecy. In short, I don’t believe in absolutes. There is nothing in this world as absolute as 100% that things can or cannot happen. On the flip side, I can never let go of my belief that there’s 100% chance of sharing the kind of love I’d like to have, because I had experienced it before, and that chance can only happen on a certain set of conditions, taking all the crap out from the big picture. My self-defense mechanism being one.




When I was 16-18, I’ve witnessed my best friend dating many guys I know I would never want to go out with. Knowing what you don’t want is always easier to know what it is that you want. I was foolish – just because I’ve never dated before, I had great luck meeting a great guy with great attributes who gives love abundantly enough to commit: a rare occurrence. I had my butterflies in my stomach, though I didn’t wait long enough to make sure whether it’s the kind of butterfly big enough for you to reciprocate; strong enough you can commit for a really long time, or was it just a fluttering butterfly you second-placed on your life’s priority list. And I thought, then came a chance, so if it’s not now, then when would I get another chance?

Fast forward to a guy who came later. Wasn’t living up to my taste in terms of character, but definitely an eye candy to feed my ideal. I’ve never really thought of good looks as a good attribute, but after some time of being single (i.e. a time for self-improvement), I learned that physical attributes actually signifies good health. You know, good looks and good genes. However, I was still rooted firmly on my commitment grounds, and I could never picture myself with the guy building a lasting future. But at that time, I was quite aware of these defects that I have, that I only want to commit if the guy is willing to commit for the long run. So I hushed that little voice away, ignoring them completely and denied myself against my basic belief system: I gave the guy a chance, even though I know that it’s bound to end at some point.

Of course good looks pay a price, with the abundant supply of testosterone. That was the first time I ended a relationship with not much of a good reason, which doesn’t have to happen if I listened to my instincts in the first place. In which case, I wasn’t hurt or anything, but the whole experience of going against my will became a foundation for my super strong defense mechanism that I have all around my wall.

Singlehood meant reality. After some time of life-reassessment sans boys, I realized how important it is to survive life independently without someone to have and to hold. Of course as you get better in life, you know better what you really want. Though marriage still holds a strong place in my girlish dreams, somehow training yourself to become the independent woman that you are makes you ask yourself: Do you need a guy?

On a side note, there’s been a trend of feminism since Hilary Clinton was voted as a candidate in the 2008 presidential campaign, and women in power has just been growing during Obama’s presidency, along with thriving womentrepreneurs and mom-bloggers making money at home and the like.




Nevertheless, the phrase-word “guy-dependent” is no longer in my dictionary. I learned a lot about what I don’t want, but what I truly want is looking like a faraway land unheard of – ambiguous, mysterious. Of course singlehood gets you all the choices the world can give you, but that’s how I became viciously picky. As you learn to improve yourself and broaden your horizons, eventually you climb up the social ladder, meet new people of all kinds, and you get to see how well these new personalities suit yourself. Once you’ve climbed up many social circles, you’ll realized that the ladder is neverending.

As I get pickier and pickier, with rejections one after the other, lying to myself that I can handle life and all, putting up a strong face 24/7 up ’til this day, that’s when it hit me: It’s not a matter of need – it all goes back to what you want.




From ilovestrawberries via Flickr.


Writing down your thoughts is the surefire way of being honest with yourself. When I looked up the word “pick” on, this is what it says:



–verb (used with object)

1. to choose or select from among a group: to pick a contestant from the audience.



Choice. The verb there is choosing. When life is hard enough, these are the choices: To depend or not? The reality is that sometimes, a girl’s gotta have a shoulder to cry on, a fact that I’ve kept as a self-denial for these years.

Breaking my defensive wall is my first step, and I know it’s going to be so damn hard. Deep down, my oestrogen still foolishly believes that there’s a 100% chance the kind of love I’d love to have is somewhere out there, though not something too testosteroney.

To depend, or stay independent? After spending some time getting cozy on my couch, pondering these mushy aspect of my life, and clearing all the crap in my head, I think that these opposing verbs can co-exist. And it shall be my dating makeover challenge.













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TATW: Best of 2010 review


January 2011


Time flies when trance is alive. I still cannot believe that it’s already been 2 years since I’m an avid listener of trio DJ Above & Beyond, who’s been sticking on top of the best 100 DJs annual poll on DJ Mag in the past couple of years.

It’s not surprising that I only started listening to dance music 2 years ago. It’s pretty easy to recognize many other producers once you start listening to a trance DJ, since the nature of the genre employs the DJs to explore mixing sub-genres from different record labels.

I first started listening to trance when I started to go clubbing, obviously. I was a baby of 18 years old back in 2008 (Fake/Borrowed IDs, heavy makeup, et al for entry). Other than the music itself, one thing that made me bloom as a baby growing up was dancing. Ironically, it took a very crowded dancefloor for me to open my shy self up. I’ve never really danced throughout my life, and the club life has given me the right beats and the catchy tunes, with lots of open spaces, to make me grow as a dancer (Currently I’m taking professional ballet classes).

Anyway, all the dancing and the whole notion of my club life hasn’t been as much fun in R&B/Hip-hop scenes as when I move along with the fast beats of progressive tunes.

The first club I went to was also one of the best clubs in San Francisco. All-year round, Ruby Skye always get gigs from world-class DJs. So, yeah that first time me as the baby went out dancing all night was also the first and last time to-date that I saw Armin van Buuren playing live. (If you happen to not know him, I beg you to at least pretend that you do: He’s voted as the #1 DJ in the world on DJ Mag 4 times in a row). Ever since, I’ve grown to love those tunes that always made me go into states of euphoria, and I could move with high heels on my feet for up to 4 hours straight because of that high (for the love of God!), and so then I’ve been relatively active in the nightlife scenes.

And then I retire this year, of the many reasons is, obviously, I’m still underage.

So, sans clubbing, I subscribe to one of the many trance music podcasts of my favorite DJs, among which is Above & Beyond. Sadly, I’ve only seen them played live just once, and yet again it was at Ruby Skye. I have to say that it’s one of my most memorable nights… Because I stayed right from the beginning ’til the very end, and also because one of my friends had a total blackout by the end of the night (Who says we need drinks to get high? The life of the party is in the music!!)

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I even got autographs (without Tony) on my Anjunabeats100 CD cover that I purposely brought with me that night, and I got to dance on-stage (Note that hand band! I remember very clearly some random person from the front invited me up and gave me that band for a free-pass to go on stage).

Ruby Skye, 10 April 2009
Above & Beyond Anjunadeep:01 tour

The thing about euphoric states in your mind is that, obviously, it makes you crazy. Crazy happy. I practically listen to their podcast almost everyday during these years. It’s always on my computer, always on my iPod, and I listen to them when I’m running, when I’m walking, when I’m about to sleep (yes, trance as a lullaby), when I wake up, and so on. Perhaps there’s actually a psychological explanation for this. I quickly checked the trance music page on Wikipedia, which said:

In any case, the name is undoubtedly linked to the ability of music to induce an altered state of consciousness known as a trance. The effect of some trance music has been likened to the trance-inducing music created by ancient Pagan shamanists during long periods of drumming.[citation needed]

In any case, it dawned on me that long-duration progressive tunes has an impact on me. On the positive note,  and in the larger matters of everyday life, I soon think that nothing else matters other than being straightforward and keep moving forward, much as the act of running and writing, which are two of my many passions I’ve grown with listening to these euphoric tunes, which are, in some ways, melancholic too.

Going back to the details on their music, Above & Beyond has just released their “Best Of” episodes on the TATW podcast that’s available on iTunes. They also recently recorded their #350 episode at the L.A. palladium, which was just epic. It’s pretty huge too for the Anjuna label – their increasing popularity has taken over the pop trance family, along with Armin van Buuren.

T-shirt available
Armind, Armin van Buuren’s record label on Armada Music.

Personally I love them both, and what ignites my euphoric senses from the mixes of Above & Beyond is that the tracks they play are always uplifting, which is their signature style, and mostly melodic, with lots of vocal.

Yet again they’ve done a superb job this year. For those still unfamiliar with the podcast, TATW would usually have a special 30-minute guest mix at the end of their 2-hour podcast. The last two “Best of 2010” episodes of the year was an exception. Here are the track listings for TATW #353 and #352, along with YouTube embeds on my personal favorites:

Released on: 31 December 2010

1. “We.Are” (Anjunabeats)
2. Super8 & Tab “Mercy” [7 Skies Remix] (Anjunabeats)
3. Boom Jinx & Andrew Bayer “Keyboard Cowboys” (Anjunadeep)
4. Maor Levi feat. Ashley Tomberlin “Chasing Love” (Anjunabeats)
5. Gareth Emery feat. Lucy Saunders “Sanctuary” [Club Mix] (Garuda)


6. Arty “Twilight Tonight” [Arty Remode] (Enhanced Progressive)
7. 7 Skies “Sushi” (Anjunabeats)
8. Gareth Emery “Citadel” (Garuda)
9. Breakfast feat. Jeaninne Hebb “Every Night” (Holy Moon)
10. Aruna with Mark Eteson “Let Go” (Anjunabeats)


11. Vast Vision feat. Fisher “Behind Your Smile” [Suncatcher Remix] (Enhanced)
12. Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery pres. OceanLab “On A Good Day [Metropolis]” (Anjunabeats)


13. Ferry Tayle “The Prestige” [Original Mix] (Enhanced Recordings)
14. SoundLift “Empty Night Street” [Daniel Kandi Remix] (Blue Soho)
15. Michael Cassette “Ghost In The Machine” (Anjunadeep) 
16. Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab “On A Good Day” [Above & Beyond’s Acoustic Mix] (Anjunabeats)
17. Dan Stone “Harvest Moon” (Anjunabeats)
18. Super8 & Tab feat Julie Thompson “My Enemy” [Club mix] (Anjunabeats)
19. Michael Cassette “Memories” [90’s Piano Mix] (Anjunadeep)
20. Super8 & Tab feat. Julie Thompson “My Enemy” [Rank 1 Remix] (Anjunabeats)

Released on: 24 December 2010 

1. Mat Zo “24 Hours” [Original Mix] (Anjunabeats)
2. Daniel Kandi “Venice Beach” [Lifted Mix] (Anjunabeats)


3. Estiva & Temple One “November Lovely” [Temple One Remix] (Enhanced)


4. 7 Skies “Caffeine” [Original Mix] (Anjunabeats)
5. Ferry Tayle & Static Blue “Trapeze” [Daniel Kandi’s Emotional Remix] (Enhanced)
6. Cold Blue “30 Degrees At Midnight” (Anjunabeats)
7. Bent “As You Fall” [Kyau & Albert Remix] (Euphonic)
8. Jer Martin “Ten Minutes To Midnight” [Original Club Mix] (Anjunabeats)
9. Nitrous Oxide feat. Aneym “Far Away” [Club Mix] (Anjunabeats)


10. Mat Zo “The Found” (Anjunabeats)
11. Super8 & Tab feat. Anton Sonin “Black Is The New Yellow” [Original Mix] (Anjunabeats)
12. Mat Zo “The Lost” (Anjunabeats)
13. Elias B “After All” [Sunny Lax Remix] (Blue Soho)
14. Arty “Rush” [Original Mix] (Anjunabeats)
15. Mat Zo “Near The End” (Anjunabeats)
16. Nitrous Oxide “Dreamcatcher” [Club Mix] (Anjunabeats)
17. Arty “Rush” [Dan Stone Remix] (Anjunabeats)
18. 7 Skies & Kiholm “Lost & Found” (Enhanced)
19. Above & Beyond vs. Kyau & Albert “Anphonic” [Original Mix] (Anjunabeats)
20. Glensk “Pacific Blue” [Daniel Kandi Remix] (Infrasonic)
21. Super8 & Tab “Mercy” [Club Mix] (Anjunabeats)

You can download the episodes at

It’s been quite a year without visits to the open dancefloor and the loud crowds. Yet it’s still a bangin’ year in trance music right from the comfort of my home.

For the love of music, all along that I’ve been a trance fanatic I’ve also became an aspired writer of many fantasies, a long-distance runner who’s training for life’s many challenges, almost a DJ with my piano background (I seriously thought of buying a DJ set when I toyed around with my friend’s set), and a mover and shaker 24/7.

Now that I’m almost officially legal, the time has come for me to hit the club again. With a real ID.