Favourite Albums of 2015: Whispers

Passengers-Whispers

Hey guys!

So this is another album that I just fell in love with in 2015, even though it came out in 2014: Whispers by Passenger. This indie pop/folk album is as much love as the previous two albums that I’ve mentioned, and it really doesn’t disappoint in terms of lyrics and melody. Passenger continues to be just amazing in terms of both songwriting and vocals. Mike’s voice is just so uniquely soothing and heartbreaking.

This is the perfect album to listen to when sitting in a coffeeshop trying to contemplate where you’re going to head next in your life, or backpacking in the Europe countryside, trying to find yourself. It’s better to think of this album as one collective set of journeys and stories than to separate individual songs, better to blur them together into one painting, but that’s my suggestion.

However, here’s my usual ranking of the songs, favourite verses included once more, so you can choose which one strikes you more:

11. Start A Fire

My cliff face is crumbling
Silently tumbling
Down to the water below
And if I light a match I’ll be able to catch
The last sun before it goes

10. Riding To New York

Through the fields of Ohio as the sunshine paints them gold.
I run just like a river runs, rapid, quick and cold.

9. Bullets

He’s been collecting since the age of nine
Every shiny bullet that he could find
Built himself a house with the wooden floors
Put the shiny bullets in a chest of drawers

8. Thunder

Hey I go chasing thunder
Go dancing under
Go falling free
Hey I go running in circles
Like baby turtles
Down to the sea
Down to the sea

7. Rolling Stone

Sometimes I feel like I’m falling
Falling fast and falling free
She said my darling you’re not falling
Always looked like you were flying to me

6. Golden Leaves

Now my dear we are two golden leaves
Clinging desperately to winter trees
Got up here like a pair of thieves
While the sirens blare outside

5. Coins in A Fountain

There’s a sad old sea but my love is an island
Wild and free like the hills in the highlands
Hope is a breeze that brings me back to dry land
Where the flowers grow

4. Whispers

Well I spent my money, I lost my friends, I broke my mobile phone,
3 a.m. and I’m drunk as hell, and I’m dancing on my own,
Taxi-cabs ain’t stopping, and I don’t know my way home,
Well it’s hard to find a reason, when all you have is doubts,
Hard to see inside yourself when can’t see your way out,
Hard to find an answer when the question won’t come out …

3. Scare Away The Dark

Well, we wish we were happier, thinner and fitter,
We wish we weren’t losers and liars and quitters
We want something more not just nasty and bitter
We want something real not just hash tags and Twitter

2. 27

27 birthdays, 27 new years
30,000 quid, just so I could have a few beers
Ever dying old hopes, ever growing new fears
Don’t know where I’m going, but I know how I got here

1. Heart’s On Fire

Well I don’t know where and I don’t know when
But I know we’ll be lovers again
I’ll see you some day before the end
I don’t know where and I don’t know when

For me, “27” and “Scare Away The Dark” seem to be echoes of one another, but not necessarily thesis and anti-thesis; they seem to be both angry-happy-sadness at what has passed and how we should be living our lives. Meanwhile “Bullets” and “Riding To New York” are clear narrative-based songs that tell stories of people who seem to have lost everything except something small they cling desperately to that keep them going.

Anywho, if you want to listen to the full album, Passenger nicely has it all up on their Youtube channel. So you can check it out here. Another album you should check out, and that I have yet to get myself acquainted to is “Whispers 2”, which is here. This one came out this year – but apparently I’m a year slow for all most of my albums.

I hope you’re enjoying these new albums so far.

Well, till next time!

cumuloq ❤

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My Daily Make-Up Routine and Collection

2 childlike ideals - tuesday

Hi guys!

So if the last blog post I made was after a long break, this one is even longer. The last time I wrote here was probably three months ago – three very very busy yet important and fulfilling months. So, I thought a good first post after the break would be something light and non-committal on my end. Less of what has been happening with me, and more of a documentation of a particularly aspect of my life.

Getting into make-up for me was a very late exploration. Although I was exposed to make-up early on because I’ve had to wear it for school performances (plays, dances, musicals what have you), it was always my mum doing the make-up for me. And usually whatever make-up was lying around the house was usually (extremely) expired.

So the first time I had to try and understand the various ins-and-outs of the cosmetic world was when I was going for job interviews after uni. Actually, uni was a very good time for me to experiment. I stayed in the uni halls so it meant that I could buy a whole bunch of products to test out in my room without parents judging or yelling at me for buying them. At first my experiments would be limited to buying mostly Maybelline products. They were a cheap and reliable source – most of the time. I learnt fast that their lipsticks weren’t that awesome.

But I think after four years of experimenting with different brands I have solidified a pretty satisfying collection. This is what I wear on a normal workday:

  1. Primer – Benefit’s the POREfessional
  2. CC cream – 1028 Visual Therapy Moisture Infusion (01 Light Beige and 02 Natural Beige)
  3. Concealer – Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer (Cool Medium)
  4. Foundation/powder – Loreal’s True Match La Poudre Two Way Foundation (Nude Beige)
  5. Eyebrows – 1028 Definer Eyebrow Kit (01 Light Brown)
  6. Mascara – Maybelline’s The Falsies (Waterproof, Very black)
  7. Blush – Maybelline’s Blush Studio (I Love Pink!)
  8. Bronzer – Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder (01 Light Matte) optional
  9. Eyeliner – Clio Waterproof Pen Liner (Kill Black) optional

So usually I will ensure that I get 1-7 down. On lazier days I only go up to 5 or 6. I usually never do 8 and 9, except on special occasions or weekends. I remember there was a time where I was wearing eyeliner almost every day.

Lastly, let me know which products you stick to. I know there are a whole bunch more that I have yet to try out. I watch beauty vloggers a lot and all the products they name just whiz by my head most of the time. I know I’m still not entirely satisfied with my blush and mascara. But I really love the CC cream and eyeliner I use. If you want me to review an individual product on this list, let me know as well.

Till next time,

cumuloq

Things to Make the Week Bearable

1 silver lining - monday

Hey guys,

Yes, yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on this blog. It seems like the past few days just have been a series of ups and – well, who am I kidding – it’s just been a load of downs. I think even my dreams have been reflective of how psychotic my mind has been. Thankfully I’m somehow so tolerating of bad dreams that I’ve been more fascinated by what warped visions my brain can conjure up, as opposed to shriveling under my covers in fear.

And such dreams so happen to contain wall-and-ceiling crawling apparitions bathing me in voodoo curses, to shark-infested killer waves staining the seas blood red, peppering body parts all over the surface, to blood-thirsty hitmen grabbing me by the throat unexpectedly, to high precarious staircases that I’m forced to navigate to shipwrecks and more drowning in shark-infested waters.

Psychoanalyse that, why don’t you.

But, among all the bad, I think this week I’m finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. Please let it not be a dud.

So here are a few wonderful things that have made my life a lot better:

1. The Lizzie Bennett Diaries

LBD

Photo credit: larkable.com

So yes, let’s address the obvious thing here, I’m slow on the bandwagon. Exactly two to three years slow. But better late than never, I suppose. I was never a fan of 19th century literature such as that of Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, so please excuse me with this very reason as to why I never watched this Youtube series (despite hearing so many snippets about it from random friends).

If you too have not heard of it (*high five*) it is a Web series that does a wonderful job at adapting Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice for the modern audience.

While it was initially difficult for me to fall in love with Lizzie (the protagonist pictured in the photo above), being brutally aware of the blatant hypocrisy in which she speaks of the pride and prejudice of others and yet was desperately ignorant of her own, it didn’t take long at all for me to warm up to her and feel like she was deserving of some respect and, perhaps, adulation. I was immediately in love with her older sister Jane and her younger sister, Lydia.

And it only took me this weekend to complete the 100 episode series from beginning to end (don’t worry each episode is only 3-5 minutes long, so it was such a heavy feat as it sounds).

I am resisting the urge to post any pictures of Bing Lee (Bingley) or Mr Darcy as I felt that the surprise at finally seeing them was paramount to the tension and addictive nature of the series. So if you have yet to take up the task, then I suggest you start at the beginning and refrain from any sneak peeks!

2. CrashCourse

CrashCourse

Photo credit: guygordon.com

Another Youtube channel that just made my weekend – or more like my day (specifically today) more bearable is CrashCourse. Again, possibly late on the bandwagon. Specifically, it’s the World History playlist from this channel that I am oddly addicted to.

What’s it about? Well it’s John Green – yes, The Fault in Our Stars, and Paper Towns John Green – serving a dish of historical pie to the supposed History last-minute exam crammers. Surprising the audience for these videos do not merely include those who require some historical education – or maybe not surprisingly cause John Green somehow makes civilisation-learning fun – but it also contains a whole bunch of people who binge watch it for entertainment. Yes, world history as entertainment.

And because of these videos I had the etymology of barbarian, Barbary Coast, ashur, pantheon and Zoroastrianism clogging up my tabs.

My head almost exploded after the perspective-taking of the Persians and the Greeks – empire vs. democracy – speech that I had to take a break today.

3. Teen Wolf Season 5

Teen-Wolf-Season-5

Photo credit: images-cdn.moviepilot.com

It’s been a pretty grim beginning to the new season of Teen Wolf and I’m already slowly developing my own theory as to the role and purpose of these new nemesis, the ‘Doctors’.

There is nothing much to say really, apart from the fact that, since the episodes come out on Tuesdays, there is always something for me to look forward to at the start of these weeks. Which makes everything so much better when I can see Kira and Lydia slowly growing into their element.

Well, those are the three things that make my days slightly better. They could also equally be the contributing factor to my current wild dreams – at least I know that Teen Wolf should be partially to blame for them. No psychoanalysis yet?

Oh, and sideline things making me happier, I made a pre-order purchase of Ernest Cline’s new book, Armada, that is, according to Book Depository, on its way to being shipped. If I manage to finish it, I’ll probably do another book review. As you can probably see from my Books Read List of 2015, 2015 has not been my year for reading. It’s been abysmal at best.

Let’s not dwell on that – have a bearable and, maybe even, amazing week, guys!

Till next time,

cumuloq

Introducing Town of Salem and Its Kickstarter

Hey guys!

I realise that, as of late, I haven’t been blogging as much. This has less to do with me not having anything I want to blog about and more to do with the amount of assignments that are trooping towards me on the battlefield which is my one-year of college. I think you can tell from my most recent posts though that a lot are Halloween themed.

Similarly, I would like to introduce a game that I have been playing too much of this week that is so aptly related to Halloween and Fall this month. Said game is…

Town of Salem

Game duration: 20-25 minutes
No. of Players: maximum 15 (Online), can play solo or with friends
Game type: Bluffing, Deception, Deduction
Similar to: One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Coup, Saboteur

I think I discovered this game last Sunday and I’ve been playing it ridiculously too much this week. The hype for it (or at least the Classic mode) has died down a lot since that I’ve been able to focus on other things like readings. But I thought I may as well introduce it here all the same because they are having a Kickstarter for it and trying to raise money. Having been absolutely addicted to it means that I do believe it is a worthy cause.

If you’ve ever played a game called Werewolf or Mafia or maybe even Polar Bear in real life or the board game of Werewolf, it works like that. There are phases of day and night.

During the night the Mafia and the Serial Killer will choose, separately, to kill one member of the town. Other town members might have other duties at night, e.g. a lookout may look into one townie’s house per night or a jailor might choose to jail and probe another townie for their role and choose to execute them in jail.

Credit goes to blankmediagames.com

Credit goes to blankmediagames.com

The day phase begins with finding out who has died, whether they left a will with clues and the death note from the Mafia or Serial Killer. Then there will be a few seconds of discussion, followed by a voting period for who should be put up on trial. If someone is chosen to go up on trial, they need to plead their case and the rest of the town can decide whether they are innocent, guilty or abstain from voting. And this pretty much continues until the town wins, the mafia wins or the serial killer wins.

That is as brief (and detailed) a description I can come up with. If you want more details on the gameplay, rules and the roles of the various Town’s folk, you can go to their wiki.

What I love about the game?

  1. It’s free to play, just register an account or use your Facebook account.
  2. It’s a pretty low stakes but highly addictive “Who Is Who?” type of game.
  3. Choosing your random name means you can be creative – but not too creative or you get killed. E.g. I chose the nickname “Twizzler” once, and the Mafia and SK got me on the first night. They apparently love candy.
  4. It’s definitely fun to fool the town (if you’re an evil role).
  5. Certain roles are definitely more fun than others, in my opinion: Some of my favourite roles include Transporter and Veteran. My strategy as a Transporter has always been to put a deliberate target on myself as a townie who probes for roles too much, then I switch my position with a suspected evil role at night. I’ve done this successfully about two or three times, and it’s an amazing feeling to have the Mafia commit suicide. Similarly, I love being a Veteran as there has been one game where I managed to go on alert and kill three out of the four evil roles. Those are the highlights of the gameplay.
  6. It’s also a great feature that, when you die, you are still not out of the game (in fact, sometimes it’s even necessary that you stay) – that is until the Medium or Retributionist is dead too.
  7. Even so, it’s sometimes fun to even stay and find out who the bad guys actually were or whether your side wins, cause you’ll get coins for your side coming out on top.

What I hate about the game?

  1. This is a love-hate feature of the game, but Townies can be pretty darn stupid, and accusing innocent people, or being dead and watching the innocent accuse other innocence is very infuriating.
  2. Sometimes whether you win or not is entirely dependent on luck, i.e. whether you’re in a lobby with daft idiots and also whether your name is randomly chosen to die or be interrogated.
  3. What I’ve also noticed about playing it for a week is that the Classic mode becomes incredibly predictable.
  4. Once you know the nooks and crannies of the gameplay, you can pretty much solve who is good and who is bad, and lying never helps the Mafia or the SK – or even the Executioner. Which makes being part of the Mafia less fun. During the earlier games I loved being the bad guy – but after a dozen or so more games I realised I hated it ’cause I hated having to do the same lies.
  5. There really isn’t much salvation once someone finds out you have forging instruments.
  6. Again, some roles are more fun than others so you know if you get Lookout or Escort, your game is going to be pretty much so low stakes that you can die and be done with.
  7. Which sometimes leads to trolls.

Things that need to be improved upon: It’s currently in its Beta phase so there are still definitely improvements that can be made. But here are some of my observations:

  1. When going into a lobby, there really should not be a host that has to start the game. Often people who are hosts don’t realise it and then other players will swear and draw blood and try to repick that person. It’s an unnecessary hassle, just start the game when there’s 15 people in there.
  2. Another thing that needs to be improved upon is the Jailor features. The sun icon that is meant for the jailor to choose a person to put into jail should be changed. There were so many times I was a jailor and I knew I had to pick during the day, but often forgot because the icon is so small. I’d rather that the jailor is reminded to pick at the end of the day phase.

Apart from that, I believe that it plays out quite smoothly.

For beginners:

I agree with a lot of others who say that this game has a bit of a learning curve. What I would suggest is to watch maybe two Let’s Plays of them. There are a lot going around currently but the more comprehensive ones belong to Youtuber, Ohmwrecker (who actually has an avatar of himself in this game becomes of his promotion of it on Youtube during its Alpha phase).

If you’re not the type to try to recce before doing something, then I suggest just getting into the game and learning along the way. People in the lobby are more than willing to help out new people.

Some first timer tips would be:

  1. to make sure that you write a will (it’s on the top left hand corner, the blank note).
  2. If you want to whisper the format is “\w [username or number] [msg]” – as you may see this a lot and wonder how to reply or do the same, so e.g. “\w 2 I healed you last night”.
  3. As a mafia member, don’t say your mafia brethren’s names cause the Random Town person can be a Spy. Alternatively, you can try trolling by writing someone else’s name, but if they see through you, it doesn’t help either cause they eliminate certain suspects.
  4. If someone is immune, keep an eye on them, but don’t immediately suspect them as GF or SK.

Lastly, I think this is the perfect little online game to get into for this month! You can even add friends to play one game with. You can give away each other’s roles but be sure not to give away your name!

Till next time,

Cumuloq ❤

Songs to Refresh Your Week

4 my soundtracks - thursday

Mid-weeks are rarely fun. All the work you refused to do in the beginning of the week is biting you in the behind (keeping it PG here), people pushing you for deadlines, asking you questions you guiltily have no answers to, and then you still have more days before this week ends.

Here are a few songs that hope to make it all better.

For the Early Mornings

Great Escape – Mike Dignam

A UK singer and songwriter for your ears. If you like this song, I strongly suggest that you make the rest of his songs your anthem for this mid-week. I recommend the song “Young” as well.  Check them out at his Youtube channel.

Talking Dreams – Echosmith

Echosmith, an indie pop band from LA, is currently my go-to music fix. Sydney is unbearably gorgeous and her brothers, Jamie, Noah and Graham, are solid players. They’ve been getting quite a lot of hype recently ’cause of their single “Cool Kids” – but I think “Talking Dreams” and some of their other songs are deserving of more limelight.

For the Late Nights

Raise Your Love – Rhodes

RHODES is another talented musician from the UK. His more popular song is “Breathe” which is amazing beyond belief, but I thought I’d share his performance of “Raise Your Love” under the Mahogany Sessions instead because it really showcases his unique voice.

Till next time!

cumuloq ❤

30DMC Day 25: Your favourite comedy movie

Welcome back to another 30 Day Movie Challenge!

Today’s all about my favourite comedy movie. Honestly, there are too many great comedies out there to just choose one – it all really depends on what you find humorous.

So here are five comedies that, at one time or another, made me laugh till I cried – or gave me tummy workouts. It really depends on what mood I am in to know which of these five are my favourite.

1. 21 Jump Street

21-Jump-Street

Gonna watch the sequel tomorrow! But for now, it’s apparent that the cop duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, Schmidt and Jenko, are surprisingly hilarious and the lines and situations in this film are just gut-wrenching comedy gold.

21 Jump Street is based on an 80s television series of the same name. It is about two police officers who are forced to go undercover at their high school where a synthetic drug outbreak exists called H.F.S (I’ll avoid spelling it out – but you can imagine – the last two words are swear words). Their goal is to find the drug supplier and arrest him. My favourite scene (as my brother knows all too well) is when Schmidt and Jenko take the drug and experience all the effects.

21-Jump-Street2

Here’s the trailer for you guys:

 

2. I Love You, Man

I-Love-You-Man

Yup, another incredible bromance. This time it’s between two of my favourite comedy actors, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. My brother and I went to the cinema in town together to watch this and, maybe it’s the audience we watched it with, but this film was the funniest thing we saw the entire year hands down.

It’s the story of Peter, played by Paul Rudd, who is about to get married, but his wife, Zooey, played by the lovely Rashida Jones, realises he has no guy friends – at least none that he can have to fill in the Best Man position in the wedding. So Peter tries to meet a guy … awkward. But he manages to somehow come across Sydney who is everything Peter does not really want but needs.

 

3. Ted

Ted

Although some scenes in this film are absolutely crude, you can’t deny that it is hilarious and, at the end of the day, it has a great message. This is the story of John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg, who, as a kid wishes for a friend on Christmas and, the unlikely friend, comes in the shape of Ted, voiced by Seth MacFarlane. This film centres around John at an age when he should be well-grown out of having his teddy bear around.

My favourite scenes include John and his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis) trying to clean up, for lack of a better term, poop off their apartment floor after Ted had played truth or dare with strippers earlier that night. Another is this one line where Ted is kidnapped but he breaks the serious moment by saying …

Ted: [while being carried inside a bag] Oh, I hear the fat kid running! I bet it’s hilarious!

 

4. Eurotrip

Eurotrip

Eurotrip is probably one of the lesser known comedies on this list, but trust me, it is absolutely hilarious. It is one of the few movies that made both my brother and I laughing like idiots just from its introduction. Yes, it is really that surprisingly good. But, this is only on the condition that you have that kind of tongue-in-cheek college humour a la Old School

The story revolves around Scott who gets dumped by his girlfriend Fiona (played by Kristin Kreuk … if you remember her as Lana Lang from Smallville) during his graduation – caught on tape. He then takes a leap of faith, breaking free from his predictable nature, to visit his German pen pal during the summer break along with his best friend, Cooper, and the worst twins in the world, Jamie and Jenny. They then get into a lot of trouble in Europe.

 

5. Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Robin-Hood-Men-In-Tights

Deciding to go to back when my brother and I were kids. This film was comedy gold – it probably still is, but I grew out of its humour. But, if the first four movies are too “mature” for you, then this one should sit nicely as the simplest form of humour possible.

This film is a direct parody of Robin Hood: Prince of ThievesIt is your standard Robin Hood story where he attempts to defeat the evil Prince John and his sheriff, win at an archery contest and rescue Maid Marian. But with many hilarious twists.

 

Other mentionable comedies? Harold & Kumar Go to White Castlethe wittiest script winner Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and EvolutionAnd if you can’t get enough funny movies, head over to Rhey of Sunshine’s blog for her choices.

Till tomorrow’s challenge!

cumuloq ❤

Weekly Update: Ellie Goulding, Selena Tears Up, The Impossible Quiz and Wholock Trailer

7 the rest - sunday

1. Song of the Week: How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

Technically all of Ellie Goulding’s songs currently are my serotonin. I’ve also been listening to Starry Eyed and Your Song (Ellie’s cover of it) on loop.

2. Video of the Week: Selena Gomez Cries In An Interview With The Hot Hits Over Fan Video

It was kind of hard to choose my favourite video this week, ’cause I have seen quite a few really good contenders. But this interview is just special and heartwarming. Another good one is Every Fighting Game, Ever, if you want something to make you laugh instead of cry (happy tears).

3. LP of the Week: The Impossible Quiz w/ Pewdiepie

I’ve tried The Impossible Quiz myself, and I honestly gave up after realising how ridiculous it is to keep restarting and doing it again and again. And that’s what Felix actually did, again and again – all the way to part two and I have to applaud him for his perseverance (despite his numerous rage quits and cries of despair and exasperation). He was really one awesome trooper.

4. (Fake) Trailer of the Week: Wholock

When I saw this I was so hoping it was real, but alas, definitely too good to be true.

So, till next time!

cumuloq ❤