I should start vlogging again

Image credit: Lukas Budimaier
Image credit: Lukas Budimaier

I have been thinking. If I should start vlogging again. Perhaps watching Casey Neistat do his thing has got me back yearning to start vlogging once more.

I have vlogged my life on two occasions, once in 2010 and the other in 2014, along a couple of other travel vlogs which were fun, for sure. Catch my old vlogs here.

Here’s the deal with blogging/vlogging.

Schedule

It is tough as heck to keep up with a schedule. Everything else gets in the way, work, play, whatever. Everything gets in the way. But I guess, as they say..

“If it is something you really want to do, you’ll find time to do it no matter what.”

And true that! As much as, also, i’d love to rant and rave on random nothingness on this blog, I never really found the commitment to do it. And I probably should find a way to change that. I should change that.

Blogging

Blogging has been tough. I have trouble finding inspiration to write songs, these days, which were a breeze in the past. Let alone blogging. But I have to find a way to do this, an outlet of sorts I guess. Somewhere to dump the thoughts that linger in the depths of my mind. Well, of course, the more shallow ones.

But I shall, continue and will continue to blog. After all, I’m paying for this domain name for a reason eh?

Vlogging

Ok here comes the mountain to scale. See, the difference between blogging and vlogging is, well.. You blog about a particular subject topic, or something that happened. Draft it, review it. Hit publish and boom. It goes live. To the 7 readers of the post, I thank you for reading Betterdanthis.

For vlogs, well. It has to be current. See, for a couple of days in 2014, I vlogged almost everyday. And boy were they tiring, the filming of randomness. To talk about the most random of things, and the most, well.. boring of days. Coming up with content is tough. Editing, less said, was also time consuming

But here’s what I realised.

It. Doesn’t. Matter.

Youtube has provided a brilliant source where we can upload whatever the heck we want, be it random episodes of unboxing’s with GGR (it’s still alive btw, thanks for asking) or even random boring vlogs about our lives. But hey, y’know what? Those are memories we keep. Those are the moments in life where we leave behind, and let ourselves look back at it some day. And reminisce.

The other day, I re-watched, just for the fun of it. Some of my old vlogs.

I teared up.

It was the days that I lost. However boring, I kept them. I relived them as I watched through. Yeh was still alive, in those vlogs he was. Still smiling, being himself, in that feeble skinny frame that was his body and his grey hair. That giggle and grin that he always had. I miss him so so much.

Moopie was another memory that was jolted from the vlogs. Such a sweetheart. Affectionate and loving as always.

And there I wondered. If I never had vlogged, I’d keep them in memory, that would fade over time. But this, is golden. In pictures, and in videos. We never really die.

They will always be in my heart.

Gear

Gear has always been an issue. If you’d notice watching the previous vlogs, they were shaky as heck. And hell crap of a quality as heck. I still want a dedicated vlog camera though. But since I’ve spent an arm and a leg of hard earned money on the Typ 109, I better make good use of it for now, till I can afford the next dedicated vlog cam.

I will jumpstart vlogging again. So when we’re all old some day, we can look back at these clips. And be glad that we can always relive the memories of now.

Let’s do this. 

Do watch em and support on. Subscribe!

Stay awesome all.

Poto Challen 4 – Fear

The past two weeks has been busy for the poto challen-gers.
With major events during work taking place, the challen was pushed back.

Meanwhile, for those who participated, here was Poto Challen 4 with its theme, “Fear”.

My babies. They are depleting. HALP. #potochallen #potochallen4

A photo posted by Das war ein BEFEHL (@dieziegevater) on

Wake up everyday stronger than yesterday. Face your fears, and wipe your tears. T-minus: 6 days

A photo posted by Ian S. (@iansbh) on

The fear of time eating it all up. #potochallen #potochallen4 #fear #rust #bike #leica #dlux #typ109 #vsco #vscocam

A photo posted by Daniel Lee (@betterdanthis) on

Fret not, this week, the challen continues.

Poto Challen 3 – Dark

This week, Ian’s choice of theme gets randomly chosen.
And here are everyone’s take on the theme “Dark”.

 

#potochallen3 – dark #potochallen

A photo posted by Das war ein BEFEHL (@dieziegevater) on

"If once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny" ~ Yoda

A photo posted by Daniel Lee (@betterdanthis) on

Loved em? Do give us a follow!

Poto Challen 2 – Raw

This week sees the theme picked by Huiyi – Raw.

We also welcome an addition to the Poto Challen team, Alan.

Check out the submissions for the week!

#potochallen2 – raw #potochallen

A photo posted by Das war ein BEFEHL (@dieziegevater) on

Raw preperation. #potochallen #potochallen2 #food #leica #dlux #typ109 #thailand #instatravel #raw

A photo posted by Daniel Lee (@betterdanthis) on

Raw emotion | Popo’s back! Please don’t scare us again.

A photo posted by Mich. (@mishsellsseashells) on

A little girl, untouched by societal influence, displays raw innocence. #potochallen #raw #potochallen2

A photo posted by Alan Seng (@alansenggg) on

Raw stuff. #potochallen #potochallen2 #China #Xian

A photo posted by Huiyi Lee (@huiyileeee) on

Loved them? Do drop a like to the shots you love as well as give the photographers a follow on Instagram!

Poto Challen 1 – History

Behold! The beginning of the Poto Challen!

The first week’s theme is History.

Here’s what we’ve come up with and our interpretations of the theme.

#potochallen1 – if they don’t buck up, these cobalt blue cars will soon be history.

A photo posted by Das war ein BEFEHL (@dieziegevater) on

I wish my kids would grow up the way you did. \ Little Danish. Lorong Buangkok, Singapore, Jan 2015

A photo posted by Mich. (@mishsellsseashells) on

Piazza del Duomo #history #potochallen #potochallen1 #florence #italy #VSCO

A photo posted by Huiyi Lee (@huiyileeee) on

Fingers crossed to having more participants along the way!
Onwards to the next week!

Joel & Matilda’s wedding

5th March 2016

The church bells ring for the first of the cousins to get married!

Not much to be said, but their love story goes quite a way back. Hey, much kudos to my new cousin-in-law, Joel. Who had the balls to ask my uncle if he could date his daughter. And look where they are now. Happy for them!

In any case, with my new typ-109 in tow. I figured I should take a few shots of the wedding myself, and.. y’know, perhaps one-up the wedding photographer a little. And to be honest (yes i’m tooting my horn), I don’t think I did too badly.

I decided to go full manual and fire the Leica off in monochrome, because, what other camera brand does it best right? #haolian

So, this post, is for the newly weds, Joel & Matilda. Here are the shots taken on your magical day (in random order just because), thank you for sharing the special occasion with us. We love you!

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Here’s wishing you two a blissful marriage.

Love, Dan.

New cam – Leica D-Lux Typ 109

Huzzah!

I have bit the bullet, and thrown money to buy myself my first Leica! Although it is no rangefinder in the form of an M, or a powerhouse in the SL. But hey, the D-Lux Typ 109 can give DSLR’s a good run for its money. Ain’t shitting you.

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Have brought it around with me almost everywhere I go, shot a wedding and a funeral on it, and oh goodness am I loving it. I’ll probably do a review on it soon. But here you go, watch the GGR episode on it.

Psst. You can watch it in 4K! (Was filmed on Jean’s V-Lux)

Kind of regretted not getting the leather case with this though, within my 3 weeks of shooting with it so far, seems like its getting scuffed up a little. Yikes.

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I’m a total convert now. Thanks to Jean (who thanked me who brought her to the Leica event).

Will throw more photowalks on the blog soon! Stay tuned!

I miss you Yeh

In the fashion of being a bitch as it is, cancer took its toll on Yeh. We were not exactly fighting it head on anyways. Yeh passed away on the 29th January, 2016. I couldn’t rush home in time to see him before he left us. I would imagine he was just waiting for his return home, pulling through on the way back from the hospital in the ambulance. Just a couple of minutes after reaching home, he drew his last breath.

Funeral wake’s are a funny thing, the saying goes “it doesn’t matter how many friends you have when you’re alive, but the number of people that turns up at your funeral show’s how much a remarkable person you are.” We were joined by family and friends who all came to see him the one last time. Death brings everyone together doesn’t it?

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Being the first family member that is close to me leaving us seems to leave a sore spot open, a void of sorts, I can’t really explain it. I miss him a lot. Even though I have no regrets. I’ve brought him to see the doctor whenever I could, brought him for meals whenever I could, and the fact that I got to greet him every single morning and tell him I was leaving for work, and to kiss him goodnight before I went to bed seems to be the little consolation that I have left with me. At least I think I’ve done my part.

In incremental phases, you pass through the acceptance that he has cancer, the fact it was un-curable. The passing of, the hustle of everyone co-ordinating the wake, the throngs of people attending the wake, the pain of reminiscing through eulogies and finally watching his coffin being wheeled into a furnace. An ordeal shouldn’t be the term to coin it but I would say it comes close. Death is a part of life, it occurred to me that to anyone else, he’ll probably just be a memory in their minds.

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But to me, he’ll always be my grandfather. Always remembering the thing’s he’s done for me, always buying toys, sweets for me when I was younger, the countless hours he had to drive fetching me to and from school, tuition. Giving me the extra dollars to spend when he hears me whining about money.

I miss him so much. And I just hope, he’s happier wherever he is now.

Last night, I got a call..

 

This was not what we had in mind

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The absence of a post here is due to quite a couple of reasons. Procrastination as always plays its part, laziness too, amongst other stuff. But I shall pour what’s mainly on my mind out here today. Gramps was admitted to the hospital recently.

See, this time isn’t like the others. What started out from an unusually low sodium count during a check-up turned into a quick ripple effect that we’re still trying to put our minds to.

I have religiously brought him to every one of his check-ups/doctor’s appointments (till I started work.) Couldn’t they have smelt this? In a “two hands to clap” type of situation, he’s been stubborn, and always refusing to go for further scans and checks, against the doctor’s advice.

If Mohammed doesn’t go to the mountain, the mountain knocks on his door and says “what’s up?”

He went for his routine scheduled check-up at the hospital, and findings of his abnormally low sodium count had him immediately admitted. It all seems to be going downhill from there, oxygen levels fluctuating. And due to low sodium in the body, he seemed tired all the time. The first few days there saw him sleeping most of the time.

Now by then doctor’s ordered a CT scan to be done. And him being very much stubborn, it was tough getting him to agree to go for that. When he finally did, he thought it was all over and he could go home, but CT scans revealed a much larger horror. A tumour located in his lung, a big one, and it was spreading. Fast.

This explains why he’s slowly losing use of his right hand. In my heart, he’s one of the greatest artists in the world, and he can’t draw anymore. But that probably is the least of the problems. Now, following the scan, a biopsy was scheduled. And the long wait continued. I probably should mention the level of efficiency the local government hospitals have, to sum it up, if it is not deemed as something that has “hit. the. fan”, they will not make haste. It is almost as if its a mantra etched throughout the hospital. Ok this is just me being sore about it.

Now I missed out a vital piece of the story here. Doctors diagnosed him with cancer, one at a stage that has already surpassed the 4th. It was tough to swallow at first, but acceptance plays its part, for some sooner than others, and some still in their phase of denial. The decision to not let gramps know at first was a tough one to make. What was even tougher, was having to see him everyday being optimistic that he will be able to go home the next.

Biopsy a week later confirmed the disease. But at his age, any move done to fight the disease comes with major risk. Right now, the game plan would be to just suppress the symptoms and relieve pain. In short “we’re waiting it out.” Sissy teared up while visiting him then. Now i’ve always made myself the promise to break whoever’s legs if they’d ever break her heart and made her cry. Never would I have thought it’ll be in such a situation which I’ll catch her shedding a tear. Probably will have to make some amendments to the promise already then.

When the time came to finally break the news to him, it took two days, for him to hear it. When the doctors first broke the news to him. He didn’t want to have it, and started getting really agitated. Granted that, I would have too if I were in his shoes. “How is it that with such advanced medical technologies, the doctors can’t cure me” he says. Yeah i’ll give him that point.

A week ago, he started wheezing. As in a squeaking noise coming out from his throat. Now I have to add that he was being fed the whole time via a nose tube. Because of some thrombosis rubbish that makes it difficult for him to swallow anything (yes, that bitch of a tumour has spread all over.) Wasn’t till the next day we realised that the tumour has started to press on his windpipe, making it tougher to breathe. That has been persisting till now, which we all are still continually worried about. Because, if that shit presses even more and blocks off the windpipe.. well yeah that just ain’t good. Most of the time now, its drip feeding.

Relatives and friends were nice enough to pop by the past few weeks. I still think he is still mentally fighting the fact this is all happening. I can imagine the fear, the sadness, the hate of looking at the same ceiling, the sound of beeping medical equipment, coughs and screams of the neighbouring patients and the barred windows. And the fact that no one can properly understand what you say because of the stupid assed condition.

Are we fighting a losing fight? Are we even fighting at all?

I’ll still visit him everyday. Be it a few hours or minutes.

I do hope he presses on.

“Cancer is beautiful because it gives loved ones time to prepare”

Fuck you cancer.