Thursday, April 27, 2006

Masks

Appetizer
Alright, this was brought on by DirtyDancer and spinnee actually. I started writing a reply, and then it grew longer and longer, till it is now a full fledged post.

Main Course
Are masks really necessary when we hang out with people? Is it required that we put forward a socially acceptable face, so that people can stand being in close to us?

I used to think so. I used to think that my friends only liked the good side of me. The clown of the party, the stand-up comedian, the irrepressible fool who is always happy happy joy joy.

Oh there were rare occasions of grief and pain and loss. But heck I didn't show it. Nobody knew. Or I'd like to believe nobody knew. All the time when I was sad I either hid from the world (said I was sleepy, and found the nearest quiet, dark corner to huddle) or when anybody asked me if I was alright, I'd be JUST FINE.

It was exhausting. And I was exhausted. And the people around me, well, I never really found out whether they liked the real me or not. Kind of a vicious cycle isn't it?

Some time along the way, I got tired of putting up an act. Oh, when hanging out with other people, it's only courtesy to take into account of the audience and adjust a little according to what their comfort levels about certain subjects are. Or the way of speech. Consider it, courtesy. But there is a natural state that I'll revert to, and I let it hang out. To hell to the people that don't like it.

Strangely, people seem to be more accepting to my natural state than say, if I kept up the mask. I haven't tried streaking down the streets without my clothes on yet. Maybe if I get sloshed enough, I just might.

And then there would inevitably be people that don't like me. In fact, there's this guy that hated my guts since secondary school. The amazing thing is, that we will end up in the same place over and over again, through the years. Same JC, same company in BMT, same camp after BMT, same faculty in uni, same major.

And if you think about it, there were only 50 people in my major, of which only 10 are guys, and he has to end up in the EXACT SAME COURSE. What are the odds? It's actually kinda funny too, seeing how he'd try to get out of my way, and when the hate is not mutual (I'm actually perfectly alright with him), it becomes absolutely hilarious.

And because there are people that don't like me, and so there will always be rumours. If I had a dollar every time someone came and told me a rumour about myself, I'd have hmm... enough for a couple of bottles of Mcallum's 18 year scotch. Don't matter to me really. Why? Simple. Cos the people that know me, know what I'm like. The people that don't, and if they choose to believe rumours, their opinions don't matter. In the enternal words from Gone with the Wind, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

And then I think to myself, actually there's an advantage when someone stereotypes you. That just means that the person is blind to certain things about me. Just gives me more room to wow you later, right?

But back to masks again. I can't live behind a mask. Meaning, if I'm gonna live, I'm gonna have to wear my heart on my sleeve. And it's gonna get cut sometime. And I'm gonna get cut, I'm gonna get hurt. So be it. I can't stop myself from getting hurting, then I'll just have to get stronger to take the shite.

Isn't life the same? When you have released the fear of failing, all that you have to do is to focus on succeeding. And chances are, you will. And it's gonna be a whole lot easier to do so as well.

Dessert
Have I accepted myself for who I am? Not completely. Does that mean that I'm not gonna grow? Nope. So it's kinda like a race. I'm growing and changing on the one hand, and on the other, I'm trying to find out about myself. Kinda fun, don't you think?

What can I say, I'm still human, and I'm still learning. With any luck, I'll finally finish learning an instant before I die. Or else I'm gonna be damn bored, and you know how dangerous I get when I'm bored.

After-Dinner Tea
Read "Maskarade" by Terry Prachett. It's funny, and it deals with exactly the same topic. I think I have read it 3-4 times.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Up to my Eyeballs

Gotta run... this week is moving week. Going to the office in Adelphi, and then it's office opening tomorrow!

8:28am. Hmm... how many people here believe in Fengshui anyways, I wonder?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Frustration

Notice how when things are working fine, you don't say anything, and take stuff for granted.

And it's the occasions when things screw up, then you truly appreciate the people, equipment, and the general stuff that you previously took for granted?

I lost my post on Blogger. GAH!

And thank you, the Blogging powers that be for giving an avenue for airing our opinions for free.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Need for Space

Strange thing really. But I find myself getting a little distant from people nowadays. Even when I'm given the opportunity to hang out, or some free time, I end up hanging at home, or at the office. Almost as if I actually like being by myself... Why's that? Eh, I'm suppose to be pure extrovert leh!

Alone, but strangely not lonely. Hmm... Maybe my narcissism has grown. Again. HAH!

Big Brother

My friend handed me this brochure some time last year. I was... hmm... surprised. Still, of ALL the freaking covers in Singapore, I have to make the cover of THIS.


WTF???!! Big Brother is Watching I tell you...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Laugh A day

Hey, it's 11pm, and I'm still in the office procrastinating. Here's a little something to lighten up the day, or what's left of it.

Common sense. But ohhhh what good advice.


Another stab at microsoft.

This is slightly subtle.


Don't YOU wish you had this on the keyboard?

Geeks 1, Jocks 0

Finally! One up for the Geeks of the world!

Yes, I'm a geek and I'm proud of it. Didn't you know I devour books and have even been known to occasionally break out in code?

The other side of me I now let out to play only on the weekends. Not this one thing. This weekend I'm gonna be in HK, attending some conference. Anybody want anything?

Now THAT is Guitar

For those who have played or attempted to play the guitar at some point of time in your life. Check THIS out.



I'm not worthy... I'm not worthy...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Conversation With The MM

Frankly, I haven't dared to watch the conversation with the MM. Yep, me. I'd fight lions barehanded and swim through the Amazon buck naked, rather than sit through an hour of current affairs with MM Lee.

For those with more guts, you can catch it here.

Is it because I have certain deep-seated beliefs about the man, that I do not want debunked? Or perhaps I am afraid I see the reflection of myself in the youths that have a chance to talk to the MAN? Or maybe, I don't want to cringe at our "representatives" fuck up? After all, when was the last time you saw yourself on camera, or heard a recording of yourself. Know that kinda feeling? Yup.

Let me just say this for the record. I have an enormous amount of respect for this guy. ENORMOUS. Look, say what you want. Like it or not, this man carved out the WHOLE of modern Singapore, in his image. Doing something like that, requires BALLS the size and constitution of those huge iron spheres used to tear down buildings. Like it or not, the society we live in now, is largely built, in his image.

That being said, the absolute first thing I'm ever gonna tell the MM, is this. Sir, I totally respect you. However, I still think you're a bastard.

In his defense, the man needed to be one. The same way a leader's gotta do what's right, not what's popular, and be glorified or be damned by his decisions. And in this case, being a leader means forcibly ramming a particular image of Singapore down everybody's throat, up everybody's behind, sans foreplay, touchy-feely, without lube.

Those of you who have been leaders before know how hard this can be. But truly, there are times, probably many times, one's gotta do what's right, even if it means hurting people.

Do the ends justify the means? Maybe, maybe not. But fact of the matter is, we are now able to discuss this question here, at the coffeeshop, at 3am in the morning, without need for a bodyguard, OR be packing heat. And not USUALLY have the beer bottles turned into assault weapons.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The WFF Theory Part II - The Flip Side


Now as I have written earlier, unless one is truly a character from romance novels, ie. buff without spending stupid amounts of time in the gym, owns the neighbourhood money mill, and a perfect lover EVERY SINGLE TIME with absolutely NO practice (hey even I have to get educated, and I can always use more practice... more more!), one's dark side is bound to surface sooner or later.

Surprise surprise, we are all human. We have failings. That's what is so shite, and so wonderful about humans.

So, unless you're a master at hopscotch, you're gonna have to put BOTH feet into any relationship you're gonna have.

Enough diddling. So let's dive right in, sans foreplay.

Worst Foot Theory is NOT a exact opposite of the Best Foot Forward Theory.

No, friends. In essence, the spirit of it asks for 2 things. Management of Expectation, and Honesty.

Are the 2 related? Yes and no.

When I'm talking about management of expectation, I mean simply this. What is REALLY the level that you can sustain in the long run? Do not over promise, in your actions OR in your words.

In honesty, it simply means to present or communicate to the other person as true and as accurate a picture of yourself as you can.

I named it the WFF theory, because there's one point of time, I literally presented the WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO to the gal I was interested in. It is completely against my grain. Voices in my mind were screaming out, WTF am I doing? Are you NUTS? That's it, you're gonna spend your life being single, lonely and branded a bastard for the rest of your life.

Was I leaning over backwards to prove a point? Maybe. I admit, it might even be excessive. But frankly, the point I'm trying to make is this.

Why wait till 6 months down the road to show exactly who you are? If the other party loves you, the other party takes you for WHO YOU ARE. Right now. All of you, good AND bad.

Yeah, I put myself out on a limb there, but then again, if the gal I like didn't like me for ALL of me, will we really be happy together for any long period of time? I don't think so.

As such, I remember telling my male buddies. I reserve my affection and my pampering for my girlfriend. If I'm truly interested in a gal, I owe myself, and I owe her to present myself as truly, and as honestly as I can.

Take me as I am. A flawed human being. I have strengths, and I have weaknesses. I am not strong all the time. I'm not smart most of the time, only brief flashes of inspiration. I'm not handsome, and I can't always think up of brilliant ideas. I dress shabbily, and my breath will stink at times.

Take the whole of me, or don't take me at all.

Just like walking, If one starts with the worst foot forward, the other foot is bound to catch up, yes?

And of course, in any case, women for some strange, masochistic reason absolutely LOVE bad boys. But more on that another time. It's late. I need to get my ass back to bed.

Need rest to party the whole damn weekend. HAH!

Cross Selling

Going for a Dance Class like this, will probably require specialized items of clothing... like THIS.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Super Mario Dreams

Ladies and Gentlemen....

I present to you...

the REAL one-up mushroom


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Debunking Beauty's Myth

"Because Beauty, it's not the same as being popular"
- L.E. Modesitt "Archform: Beauty"

Strange isn't it? And again the grain of what we "know" to be true.

Most folks believe that beauty and popularity are synonymous. Is it? Thinking back, I realize that maybe, just maybe, there's more to it than meets the eye.

Beauty is admired, sought after, desired. Some people go through great lengths to obtain this ideal. Even have competitions for it. However, frankly, whether it be beauty queens, or musicians, or great thinkers, creaters and keepers of beauty all have one thing in common. They end up lonely.

Maybe it's the pedestal they're put on, or the rarity of finding someone you can have a normal conversation with, or someone to talk at the same level as them. Perhaps the rarity of the thing that they possess sets them apart from the masses and as such, they may gain admiration, but frankly, they lose popularity. The acceptance of the public as "one of us".

Beauty challenges, puts forth an ideal, a standard. To the masses, the ones where comfort and status quo are such important things, can beauty and the desire for beauty and the introduction of such a goal BE, possibly, popular? Or will beauty be something admired from afar, desired, but always slightly aloof?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Who am I?

At the end of the day, after looking through all the cultural stereotypes and differing values, all the concepts and misconceptions, I take what an Austrian friend tells me to heart.

"I am a citizen of the world."

After going around the world and trying to discover my roots, where is it? It is right here. In me.

After trying on various identities and cultures, what do I believe in? That I make my own beliefs. Everything else, is an opinion. It is when I accept them and make them part of me, do they truly become, ME.

Who am I? I am who I am. I am Edmund. I am... ME.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The WFF Theory Part I - Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Right, as the creator of the "Worst-Foot-Forward Theory" I figured that it would do the world a whole lot of good to hereby formally lay this theory down in word, for posterity, or until this msg sinks into oblivion.

What exactly IS the Worst-Foot-Forward (WFF) theory?

Before I go into that, one must aquint oneself with the flipside.

The one thing that almost ALL men do when they meet the "girl of their dreams". It is something I like to name the "Best-Foot Forward Theory" .

The BEST-foot forward theory is divided into 2 stages. Kinda like walking.

Stage 1, our dear boy puts his best foot forward.
Stage 2, the other foot needs to take a step foward, equal to or past where the best foot lands.

What's stage one like? Stage one is natural. Like breathing. Guy likes Gal. Guy will invariably end up putting his best foot forward in an attempt to win her over. Picnics, flowers, and chocolates galore. There'll be serenades, late night conversations, and 237 other things that only a man in a fit of testosterone-enhanced inspiration can think of.

This of course, usually is during the phase of something commonly called, "the honeymoon period". Somewhere along of the way, in the best of circumstances, the recipient of said attention becomes completely enamoured and hence 2 hearts embark on a journey together.

The result? NOT happily ever after.

Some time along the way, dear friends, something's gotta go.

And as it is with ALL humans who typically have 2 feet (the third is NOT for walking. Get yer mind outta the gutters dammit!), and when we walk through life, we tend to use both feet.

As such, The OTHER FOOT will have to take another step forward EVENTUALLY.

No male in the whole wide world is completely limitless in cash, time, energy, OR ideas. In other words, our hero is guilty, of being HUMAN.

The uneviable result of course, are these dreaded words, "But you used to do all these things for me!" and they're often followed by THESE words, "You don't love me anymore!!!"

Hands up all those who have had this happen before.

What it truly boils down to, is this simple question that both parties have to answer.

Take away all the flowers, presents and chocolate. Take away the glam and the glitter, the butterflies and the birds and the bees. Can our female protagonist take the rude awakening that maybe this guy in front of her is just human after all?

And for guys, when you wake up in the morning, and look at your gal, can you truly take her without make up, hair all mussed up, and morning dragon breath, kiss her on the lips and say, "Morning, beautiful"?

In other words, CAN YOU ACCEPT YOUR PARTNER FOR WHO HE/SHE IS?

Having survived this critical stage (I put it, after careful observation, to be between 4-6 months into the relationship), and answering the question of "Can you accept the WHOLE of me?" THEN AND ONLY THEN is a relationship starting.

This ladies and gentlemen, is the BEST case scenario. Worst case scenario? Not a broken heart. Nay friends. This is not-so-bad. The worst case, is when the chap gets strung along like a yo-yo and used as a safety net, intentionally or otherwise.

That, friends really and truly SUCK beyond measure.

The Cost of War

Told ya Operation Iraqi Freedom *CHOKE* was a stupid idea. Looks like the terrorists won in the end, and got the Yankees to ream themselves a new bodily orfice. HAH!

Walls

I remember a time when neighbours used to only have grills to seperate each other.

An arbitrary marking only done because it's required, rather than desired.

Then some time in my young life, concrete walls came into fashion and I watched with discomfort and a puzzled sense of unease as I saw the walls get higher and thicker. How can one live within such tight confines and not see your neighbours? Isn't it HOT?

Today, I sort of understand. Still, it's been years since I last saw a thin grill fence around any neighbourhood, or a wooden picket one for that matter.

Can't help but feel the passing of a more innocent, more open age, whenever I drive past my grandmother's old place, and see the spanking new whitewashed concrete walls.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Work and Play

Frankly, folks. Let's get honest right now. We're NEVER gonna retire. It's true. Might as well get it out into the open.

Consider this, right after graduating, we're gonna have debts to be repaid. There will be no instant in life where we are NOT paying off some form of debt.

Then consider this. The higher you go in the corporate ladder, the more decision-making you have to make. The less dispensible you are.

I was talking to a friend who became a fully qualified lawyer (yes, secretary, own office and all). And I was asking her if she can just go away for a month long break. No she can't. What about becoming partner, then would ya be dispensible? Nope? Lagi worse cos now there are even more high power clients, and clients are erratic in the time that they need you. So as such, one can only go away for 2 weeks at the max.

And when one is boss leh? Lagi worse. Unless you completely trust your second-in-command, you're gonna have issues leaving for months on end...

What if you retire? Ladies, there's only so many manicures, pedicures, and hair cures, toe cures, mouth cures, and belly cures. Guys, how long can you park yourself in front of the television and watch sports, drink beer and ogle at nubile young women? Ok, bad example. You get my idea.

I reckon the only thing you can ask for, is for you to do the things you like. And get someone to pay you for it. That way, there's no way one can say that you're ever gonna retire. Cos in the words of a very cool jazz guitarist, "I have never worked a day in my life."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Random Thought That Stayed

The first time I went on the conveyer walkway at Dohby Gaut MRT, a strange thought struck me.

Here I am, walking slower, but because of the conveyer, all-in-all, I'm actually faster than everybody around me. Obvious? Maybe...

Then I wonder, what if instead of us trying to go faster all the time, we have time going slower for us. Won't that make us seem faster than everyone else?

Split time up, and extend every second. What if between every single instant, is an eternity, and we slip into the cracks in time?

Maybe the way to actually move faster, is not to increase speed, but to slow down time, relative to the rest of the world? Put someone on the conveyer belt of time, so said... at the end of the day, time would slow down to him, but looking from outside in, this chap would be aging in instants...

Does it make sense? Relativity makes tangled messes of most brains...