Monday, December 27, 2010

Bullseye

I don't subscribe to most personality tests, but this one hits pretty close to the mark. Do your own test here.

You are striving for a life full of activity and experience and, perhaps even more, an environment where you would be able to forge a close bond with a person who can offer full emotional fulfilment.

You are trying to improve your position and prestige - be it in your life or in your workplace. Things are, at this time, OK - but they could be better. You feel that it is essential that you break down any opposition that could possibly lurk in the shadows. You know that you are quite capable of achieving this set goal because you have to and because it is essential to your self esteem.

Compromise is the name of the game at this time and it is the only way you can avoid being deprived of the love and affection you so rightly deserve -so soften up a little, be flexible.

For whatever the reason, you find it extremely difficult to sustain relationships - that is to sustain them in the manner that you would wish. You are a very gentle sort of person, full of feeling, sensitivity and susceptible to love and affection, looking and longing for a partner with whom you can enjoy 'All things bright and beautiful' - someone with whom you can seek out the more esoteric things of life. But up to now this person has only existed in your imagination. You are very choosy, appreciative, refined and extremely artistic in temperament and it is your hope to seek others who will allow you to form and express your own taste and judgement and who at the same time may assist you in your intellectual or artistic growth.

You really would like to be completely uninhibited - to let your hair down - but you are held back by your sense of logic and rationalilty, since you realise that by simple stupidity you could lose everything - whatever that may be.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On The Road Again

I remember when I was in Sec 4, I wrote an essay about a backpacker who wandered around the world by himself and while interacting with people, walks off in the sunset by himself. Scored the highest I ever did for an English essay in my life. It was not hard. Three and a half pages writing about myself in an hour flat.

I'm usually seen as an extrovert. Thing is, since young. I had to be extroverted. I think I had a slightly more unsettled time growing up than most. Being friendly and likable was a survival trait. The ability to make small talk a necessary skill.

In university I straddled various cliques. I was closer to certain individuals, but never had a group I could really call my own. Sure it got lonely at times, but it was a price I was willing to pay because I felt it kept me from stagnating, becoming complacent and a box from forming around my mind.

Over the last year, I was in a relationship. It was not a conventional one, but nevertheless the timing of everything seemed like a godsend. The way she fitted against my shoulder amazes me every single time. I thought, here is someone that understands. It was as if I found a twin of my soul that I never knew I had. Lay aside your travels, here is an end of your search. The wanderer has found a companion in his travels.

Alas, it's not to be.

So I guess it's time to move on. Exit stage right, the solitary walk into the sunset or the dark night. Either way, the back is turned, and fades from view, savouring the companion chill of the December rain and denying the comfort of the cloak of self sufficiency and solitude for the moment because it has been a long time since he felt for anyone with this much intensity. 

Thank you for being there when I needed you.
Thank you for a year where ordinary things become beautiful.
Thank you for a million and one things.
Thank you for the pain of leaving, because it reminds me that I can feel again.
And thank you, for making it such that we can still be friends in time to come when I can finally find strength again.

Who knows, maybe paths might one day cross again and different roads may again intertwine.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just Do It

“Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.” - Bruce Lee

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Listen!

Why is it that in society, we are so starved to have someone listen to us, that we actually have to pay someone hundreds of dollars to sit and listen? Is it really that hard?

I am reminded that one of the best compliment that someone can pay another is to really listen. Suspend your thoughts and preconceptions, look into the person's eyes, and open your heart and mind to what the other person is attempting to communicate. No interruptions but for clarifying, validating and encouraging.

When was the last time anyone actually did something like that for you? When was the last time you did that for someone?

In this age of instant communication, a lot of information gets communicated very quickly, and trees of meaning are too often hidden in the forest of words. I forget also that very often the most effective communicators are the ones that also listen the best.

Compliments

Over the last two weeks, two people have told me that they follow what I write.

Wow.

I didn't know that anyone outside of a few close friends and family even know that the blog exists. After all, I'm not a hot chick, a quotable quote generator, neither do I write all that often. This is cos it takes some time to process experiences and convert thoughts into text and express it coherently.

Thank you for the compliment of reading. I am both glad and humbled. That goes out to every single one of you who take the time to read my ramblings. This started off as a place to put my thoughts on display, invite critique and maybe spur a little controversy. I hope it will always remain so.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary

They're not expressive people, but in living history, dad has never ever forgot an anniversary, and there'll always be a bunch of flowers in the morning.

Happy Anniverysary dad and mom. And thank you for 32 years of lessons of what it means to be in a relationship and in love.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Thought Of You

Always liked collaborations between two different artforms. This is pretty amazing. And reflective.


Thought of You from Ryan Woodward on Vimeo.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Most Intimate Contact Between Two People

is not sex, not kisses, not hugs.

The most intimate contact between lovers, is when they're holding hands.

Kisses you can give to strangers
Hugs to acquintances
Sex can be a commodity, bought and sold between willing parties.

But you can tell how comfortable a couple with each other by the way they hold hands.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Homeward Bound

In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing and the sky is clear and red.
When the summer's ceased its gleaming,
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure's lost its meaning,
I'll be homeward bound in time.

If you find it's me you're missing,
if you're hoping I'll return.
To your thoughts I'll soon be list'ning,
and in the road I'll stop and turn.
Then the wind will set me racing
as my journey nears its end.
And the path I'll be retracing
when I'm homeward bound again.

Bind me not to the pasture,
Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling
and I'll return to you somehow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Martial Philosophy

The relentless pursuit of the definition of self. Acceptance.

Training is, through the use of my body, to understand myself, and to have the ability to call on honest and true expression of myself when I want it. To solidify determination, and move.

Constant questioning,
Constant curiosity,
Experience, integrate, grow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome Darkness My Dear Friend

The silence between the notes
The space between the seconds
The darkness between the stars
The stillness between one breath and the next

Mostly, in the night when everyone's gone to bed, or in the mornings where a restless mind awakes to find no respite.

Liquid oblivion tastes bitter on the tongue now. Even the good stuff.

So I throw myself into everything else.

I search
For absolution,
Perhaps manifestation of pain.
Perhaps intense self growth and breakthrough.

Fuck emo. Enough whining. Now to get on with life. The world awaits.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Wishes

So another year gone, and another year is here. I've never been one to put much store by my birthdays truth be told. In the past, it's more often been an excuse to get my mates together, get drunk and party. Never been much on birthday resolutions, nor presents for that matter.

If there are presents, I have always held more store for the cards than the presents. The feelings invested into the written word are more precious to me than the presents.

This year's a little different. Things were a little tough this birthday, and I'm in the middle of a flux. Work wise, I've stagnated for a year or so, getting my feet back under me after trying to live the entrepreneur dream for a little more than half a decade. I've shelved that for now.

Relationships, I met someone I thought was about as close to a soulmate I'll ever likely to get. Funny how love springs at you in the most unexpected circumstance. Alas it was not to be, and somewhere along the way, I wussed out, lost my confidence and is slowly coming back to be alone and myself again.

Nevertheless, whatever does not kill me makes me stronger, yes?

I'm grateful for the experiences I had, and for the friends in my life. From each and everyone of you I have learnt something. I appreciate the care and love that you have shown, and my life is richer for your presence. Thank you Rachel, Christine, Siren and Lennie for making my birthday more amazing than I ever thought it could be.

Rachel thank you for the company.
Christine, thank you darling. One Altitude was fucking awesome. The sunset, spectacular.
Siren, thank you for dinner, and making one of my most ardent birthday wishes come true.
Lennie, thanks for the offer of drinks and the support.

I am thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. In your own way, you have shown your support and love for me, and as much as you piss me off at times, you have been role models to me.

To the ones I loved, you have made a huge impact on my life. Thank you for being with me. You will always be special to me, in your own way.

Over the last 6 years, I've kept a lot of my dreams in check. For the sake of business, many of my personal goals and aspirations have been set aside. This year, I'm determined to fulfil some of them.

1. Martial Arts - I've always loved martial arts, and I have neglected it for too long. Time to step up JKD a notch. Bruce Lee remains my idol.

2. Travelling - The last time I travelled purely for leisure is May 2002. I really miss backpacking and visiting my mates from all over. This time though, if I get mugged, someone else's ass will be well and truly kicked.

3. Riding - Ever since army, I've wanted to get back on the bike again. It's not a mode of transport. It is a lifestyle.

4. Inking - I'm working on the addition to my tatt. Work in progress.

5. Guitar - I've neglected my baby. I'm sorry. I will get my ass in gear and complete learning Hotel California.

6. Moving Out - Even if it's just a room.

A year gone, and another year laid out. Helllooo Edmund. There are stories to write, lessons to learn and so much of life to experience.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Quotes From Troy

How is it that normal people become heroes? What defines a legend? Sometimes it is just a man, woman or child trapped in extraordinary circumstance, and acting according to his or her own beliefs.

I liked Gemmell's retellings of old legends because they make the heroes human. People who are no different from any other, who just happen to be trapped in rather strange circumstances. The hero, in these cases, do not have farts that smell of roses nor do flowers bloom where they walk.

Sometimes, it is the ordinary that inspire legends.

"Love is a mystery. We embrace it where we can. Mostly we do not choose whom we love. It just happens. A voice speaks to us, in ways the ear cannot hear. We recognize a beauty that the eye does not see. We experience a change in our hearts that no voice can describe. There is no evil in love, Kalliope" 


"'You said storytellers fashion truth from lies? How can that be?' she asked him. 
"'A question I have long pondered,' He pointed at Bias. 'I once told a tale about a winged demon who attacked the Penelope. I said that Bias, the greatest spear thrower in the world, hurled a javelin so powerfully that it tore through the demon's wings and saved the ship from destruction. Bias was so taken with the story that he practised and practised with the javelin, and finally won a great prize at a King's Games. You see? He had become the greatest, because I lied about it. And therefore it was no longer a lie.'
"'I understand,' said Piria. 'And how can the truth be made into a lie?'
"'Ah, lass, that is something none of us can avoid.' Bending down, he scooped up the small clay plate...
"' My point is that truth is a mass of complexities, made up of many parts. What is truth to you?... Truth or lies? Both? It depends upon perception, understanding, belief. So, to return to your original question, it is not hard to make the truth a lie. We do it all the time, and mostly we don't even know it.'"

"She looked up at him. 'Are you in love with me?'...
"He looked into her eyes, and she felt the power of his grey gaze. 'My feelings are my own,' he said at last. 'All I know is that you are sailing for Troy to be with someone you love. If you will allow me I will see you safely there.' 
"'I could never love a man in the way that he would desire. You understand that?' 
"'Have I asked you to love me?' he countered.
"'No.'
"'Then the problem does not arise.'"

"'There is a darkness in you. In all of us, probably. Beasts we keep chained. Orginary men have to keep the chains strong, for if we let the beast loose then society will turn upon us with a fiery vengeance. Kings though... well, who is there to turn upon them? So the chains are made of straw. It is the curse of kings, Helikaon, that they can become monsters.' He sighed. 'And they invariably do.'" 


There is a reason I read fiction. Because often stories describe abstract ideas better that the writings of scholars.

Good Advice

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold on to him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” - Bob Marley

I think it applies to both women AND men don't you?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ouch.

perdón, cuchillo de eliminación en curso

Random Potshots At Strangers

Omegle is a program that connects you to random strangers. Siren introduced this to me cos I was in a bit of a rut.

Now that the beast is released, he's only just gaining momentum. Random potshots at people, AWAY!

Here are a couple of gems from my first 15 minutes online.

Stranger: heey:)
You: question, what do you feel about seinfeld?
Stranger: umm i dont know why?
You: because i use it for a test for intelligence and general knowledge
You: you passed with flying colours. and for that, i give you... FREEDOM
You have disconnected.
 
Stranger: I WIN\ 
You: and as a prize i'll give you the gift of giving. please wire $1,000 to the following bank account Stranger: FU\

Come on, share your best lines with me!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Dance Of Love

The music sets the tempo. Fast, slow. Happy, sad. Sultry, serious. Playful, grave. The dancers build on that music, and give shape to sound, and make the intangible tangible.

In a dance, one leads, another follows. Each role is as important as the other. The dance needs both to be involved, and for a span of time, they are committed.

The man takes the lead, and he takes upon himself the power that the woman willingly offers. He also takes on himself the responsibility of taking care of her for the length of the dance. He guides without hesitation, is clear without being pushy, and she follows. He adjusts to her nuances and shows her off, makes her look good. Looks out for her on the dance floor, keeps her safe. His job, is to make sure he communicates what he wants her to do. Clearly, without ambiguity. All without a single word said. He watches the room, watches her, the world fades. His attention is on the room. His attention is on her.

The woman follows, but she is not inferior or lower in status. She follows the lead because it is her choice, gives the power to the man, so she has more space to fully express herself. She lets herself be led, but in following the signals, throws in her own interpretation. She is free to throw herself into the dance, and express herself fully. She has the attention of everyone in the room, but her eyes are on one.

I was told by my first salsa instructor three important things in dance.

1. The job of the guy is to make her feel good, and look good.
2. Channel Antonio Bandares's confidence.
3. Men spend three times more time practicing than women.

I add a couple more rules.
4. Follow the music and be focused on the woman, and you'll naturally look good. 
5. Lead well.

The moves we learn in class is just more vocabulary. And this is the advice paraphrased from Bruce Lee. Ultimately, it is the expression of oneself through movement. It is the expression of oneself, totally and completely. That way, it is the process of continuing growth. Train, so that when you want it, it is there. The advice works, both for dance, as well as martial arts.

Everyone will cock up in dance. There are a million and one things that might happen. But screw it. The important thing, is to live for the moment. Enjoy the dance, laugh it off, and continue. There's always another song, another beat, and at the end of the day, what matters are not the moves, or how flawless or complex the moves are, but the way you make each other feel. 



Dance and relationships. It's not that different from each other, is it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Reminder

I am reminded of my sense of self yesterday. Today, I wake up to my favourite weather. Must be doing something right.

I am also reminded that obsession to the point of losing oneself is not good. That anything and everything that causes you to lose that which make you, you is not good. This does not mean that the thing is innately bad. Bad things and tragedy causes loss of self. Sometimes good things too. Awesome sex, the sense of belonging to a group so much so that your sense of self is subsumed (read Fight Club), relationships that start good, but later become overboard one way or another. That the world right now, is a precarious place for balance with so many place for distraction. It just means that one needs a stronger and deeper innate belief and identity.

I am reminded that a true relationship, is one where two individuals come together, and keep building each other up. And the relationship might be stronger than the sum of its parts, but it is still subjected to the limitations of the weakest link. And growth means constant exposure to the elements outside the relationship and change which is the only constant. And the two people who made the decision to commit choosing daily to stay together and support each other. And if one finds someone that he or she can say, "I commit to you." hold that person close. Because finding someone in a world where there are 6 billion, is a rare and beautiful thing.

On the subject of exposure to the outside elements, I believe that every couple needs time off from each other to do their own thing. It is a sure sign of dependence when you cannot find your own me-time anymore, and neediness when you don't even want your me-time. To that end, I propose a "break-up week" every once in a while. I shall elaborate further later.

It is easy to have one party with a strong personality not care and be selfish and maintain his sense of self, and the other going along and "going along with the flow" to the point whereby the latter's sense of self and self worth is defined by the former. For the strong one, there's no loss to him, and one more support crew that he doesn't really care about, is nice to have. For the weaker party, there is an addiction in the giving up of power and letting the other party control his/her decisions. With that loss of power, it also means that anything that goes wrong is the other party's fault. This sense of powerlessness and responsibility on one's own life, can actually be an escape. Escapes are good. Escapes that become addiction, bad.

It is much harder when two individual characters come together, and complement, support each other yet never lose their sense of self. It's like a couple dance. If you have seen June and Jackson dance together, you'll know what I mean. I looked through my blog and I realize, I never wrote about it! My goodness. What have I been doing? Article akan datang.

I apologize for the hiatus from myself and my self. I'm back. And I. Am. Awesome. *flicks hair* And yes, I suit up for the right occasion.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Come Out Awesome

It was an SMS conversation with a friend. But it was also a promise to myself.

There are several ways that things might turn out. One way or another. I'm gonna come out better, stronger, hotter, and awesomer. *flicks hair*


I rule.

Ancient Wisdom

I read somewhere that the ancient American Indians mastered the art of living for the moment and enjoying it.

In waiting, they savour the anticipation, and the emotion of waiting. While there is the anxiousness of a resolution and the eagerness of the end, they are aware of their feelings, and their surroundings, and they take pleasure in the emotion.

The end of the road is something to be treasured and it is true. But so is every step of the journey.

PS. Do not forget the REAL end of the road is death. That is the certainty. Now LIVE dammit!

Expectations In Relationships

Expectations in relationships. Why do we have them?
Do we really prize stability and the opportunity to stagnate so much?

As my uncle lie in hospital today, a particular point is forcefully brought home into my very thick skull.

Eventually, nothing in the world is sure. There are so many things that might happen that is out of our control.

Feelings, accidents, sickness, death. The future is one seething mass of potential and uncertainty. Anything can happen, and as Murphy's law will have it, shit happens 90% of the time. You just have to hope that the remaining 10% is worth it.

In an effort to preserve a semblance of stability and continuity, we force expectations onto our partners and attempt to fit the future we cannot control into a mould and and manifest it in a contract. Sometimes the contract is tacit, unwritten. Others, we put our names on it, and sign it with ink, as if the act will lend some kind of permanence against the enthropy and chaos of the future.

Don't get me wrong. If marriage is a manifestation of two people's deep and abiding desire and commitment to be together, I think we should celebrate it. As I get older, I find it harder and harder to find this thing called love, and to have two people truly commit the rest of their lives to something like that.

In fact, I think the probability is so small that one can only name such an improbable occurance fate and reinforce the possibility that there is a higher power which gives a shit. For those who have committed to each other, I admire you for doing something I cannot honestly say I can conceive, much less go through.


Then this brings me to the question of just what the hell do I want?

I want someone who is with me because she wants to be with me. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Someone who talks to me because she enjoys talking to me and likes my company, who can listen and share her opinions without imposing, and I want to do the same for her.

While we care for the other's needs, we also indulge in our own desires.  We fuck, because we want to. Because we are hungry for each other or have needs to fulfill. It is not making love. It is satisfying a need. And we do it with each other because we prefer it. If it's tender and gentle, it is because we feel good doing it that way. If it is rough, hard, and dirty, it is also because that is how we like it.


Someone who accepts me for who I am. All the failings, mistakes and insecurities of the past, the idiosyncrasies of the present and the potential disappointments and celebrations of the future. Someone who is there with me, but does not force fit my path in life to hers, and vice versa.

Perhaps two people can be companions. Choosing to stay together because they want to. Not expecting more, because nobody knows what the future is. The insecurity of a non-traditional relationship without obligation then prevents the stagnation, because unfortunately for humans, it is only when the end is nigh, and obvious, do we really learn to treasure that which we have.

Then so be it. Let us enjoy the now, and never let us take each other for granted, or fit the other into an expectation of obligation. Just want, need, and the preferential satisfaction of being with each other at that instant.

After all, there is no future. There is only the ever present and moving now for us to savour.


Footnote: It was always a little disturbing to me when I was younger that this song does not neither mentions love, nor a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. I am starting to understand that perhaps that which has limited
my understanding is my own boxed perceptions and flawed understanding of relationships.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Regrets

Heard this song on Britain's got Talent sang by the plucky Janey Cutler. Came back, and found the lyrics after some searching. After all, it's not exactly a pop song. But what lyrics.



Here are the lyrics

No, no regrets
No, we will have no regrets
As you leave, I can say
Love was king, but for only a day

No, no regrets
No, let there be no regrets
Why explain
Why delay
Don't go away
Simply call it a day

Pleading moments we knew
I will set them apart
Ev'ry word, ev'ry sign
Will be burned in my heart
But no tears will be shed
There'll be no one to blame
Let it always be said
We attempted what came

No, no regrets
No, we will have no regrets
As you leave, I can say
Love was king, but for only a day

Life still goes on
Yes, even though love has gone
One last kiss
Shrug and sigh
No Regrets even though it's goodbye

Post Script: Apparently Janey Cutler didn't win. But my goodness, what an amazing way to celebrate a woman who lives the song that shot her to fame!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now Where Is That Other Shoe?

A friend once told me, that relationships survive and thrive on two pillars, love and respect. Perhaps that is what appeals to both sides of the human equation. The logical and the emotional parts.

Most sales people would tell you that decisions are emotional. And logic exists to justify the emotion. In a relationship, that's particularly true. Why does one choose a particular person over another? Why him, or her and not another? It's this emotion, love. Inexplicable, illogical and honestly quite simple.

The traits that you admire about that person gives you logical reasons for you to find the person attractive. But to decide at the end of the day why? It's love. If that is gone, well, nothing you can say or do, can keep a person by your side.

The other pillar, respect. Once the decision is made, it's a matter of respect and understanding. Who that person is, what his character is like, and crafting a relationship that is more than the sum of its parts. In the words of my darling sis, "accepting the person for who he or she is, and then growing together." That's respect.

Lose one or the other, and you don't have a relationship. Me? There have been twice in my life the emotional component went away, and quite frankly I live with a background concern that it might happen again. But till then, even if it might be inevitable, one can only hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Regardless of Race, Language or Religion

I was headed for JKD today when I bumped into a friend of mine who told me about a run in with two Ang Mohs on the MRT that were drinking beer and smoking. Yup, IN the MRT.

They were rude, and when a lady told them to stub out the ciggies, they essentially told her to piss off cos they paid so much money to smoke in Singapore. Eventually, they got shoved off at the next stop.

My friend then told me how much she hated Ang Mohs then.

A few questions then come to mind.


Is bad behaviour limited to ang mohs in Singapore? We are not exactly pillars of grace and culture either, even in our own country are we? If there is one thing that transcends time, space and skin colour, it's asshole behaviour and arrogance. especially when drunk.

Is this how the people in other countries view the ungracious Singaporean? Especially when we flash our money ard and act all superior.

Are we guilty of racism as well?

And finally, on the topic of employment, no, I do not despise or condemn the "foreign talent" that come to Singapore to work, getting an expat package and all.

Nope, if there's anyone to blame, i blame 1. the companies that believe it necessary, 2. the circumstance that cause the companies that believe so, and 3. our own people that did not step up to the plate.

Because let's face it. a good number of us just aren't that good at communicting, nor are we gonna step out of our comfort zone to get better. And communication, is more than half the game in a business environment.

So when it comes to our pledge, if we wanna bitch at being prejudiced against, isn't it about time we did something about it ourselves rather than have the gahmen intervene?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thoughts At 4am

Maybe,just maybe. Convenience is also a kind of fate.

picture from here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some Of the Best Words of Philosophy I Have Seen So Far

Some of the best bits in the entire interview:

That all knowledge is self knowledge in the end.

That martial arts is the honest expression of oneself through movement.

That ultimately we are human beings. And are all one family under the sky, and people are just different.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aspirations

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Long Way To Go

Now a great meal is one that evokes emotion. And I gotta say, the invite from TK to the Tiffin Club evoked several.

Envy - I have no idea how in the world chef Iskandar came up with his menu. But I gotta say, it was inspired. I wish I had the same inspiration.

Demoralized - The road is LONNNGGG for me to even think about going professional. He set the bar ridiculously high.

Motivated - The hope that SOME DAY I'll be able to cook at that level, if not with the same style.

For an actual review of the food, check out my food blog. But then again, it's no foodie page. It's just my own little space to mess around with food, and concentrate all my food related stuff.

Nevertheless, thank you, TK for the opportunity to try the food and open my eyes to the ONLY fusion food that I actually ever liked. Thank you siren and ting for the lovely company, and thank you chef Iskandar, for a meal that stretched the imagination of what is possible with food.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Not Get Personal

Right, so the YOG has started and personally I echo Seinfeld's sentiment that any sport that brings nations together is a good thing.

Let's again make this clear. I am FOR having the YOG organized in Singapore and for all the inconvenience that it brings us for the 2 weeks, I'm actually pretty alright about everything. Then again, I usually take the MRT so I have not actually seen the YOG buses with their mobile "get-the fuck-outta-the-way" cams.

In a strange way, I'm even okay that we blew our budget and overshot by 3 times. It's fine. This is the first ever Youth Olympic Games and frankly if that is what it takes to put up a good show, I say go for it.

Now the ONE thing I have a bone to pick, is the ORGANIZATION of the event.
First up, I don't know when the preparation for the YOG started, but it sure as hell sounds like a lot of things are only done last minute.

Sure, there were a fair amount of hype a couple of years ago when we first got the YOG hosting. The committee asked for volunteers, got some things in place, then everything tapered off and it was all quiet for a couple of years.

What we see now, seems to be a hodge-podge of last minute efforts by people who's trying not to fuck up too badly under scrutiny.

Sure, it's the first ever Youth Olympics, and Mr. Murphy is always at play. But still, some things just should not happen. Really.
  • The food is ridiculous.
  • The athlete's village look like a concentration camp and is all the way over in NTU because somebody decided to comandeer the halls of residence.
  • Last minute raises in budgets. Come on folks. If you have been planning and putting consistent effort into the whole organization, you'd see a consistently increase in the budget, not a last minute spike like this.
  • The YOG cheer song by JJ Lin. I don't blame him actually. I blame the tone deaf midget who approved it.
  • The whole marketing effort is slipshod and last minute, and frankly, simply BS.

I am concerned, that the best story that come out of the entire gig, was Low Wei Jie. If the National Sports Council had half a mind. Enlist this boy to be a national runner dammit! 15km in the rain, carrying a camera, in slippers, UNDER 2.5 hours? FUCK!
Now I'm proud of our boys and gals who are competing in the sports, whether they win the medals or not. I am proud that they trained, and lived the dream. Even for a while. I am proud of each and everyone who put in blood, sweat and tears who in one way or another contributed to the spirit of the Olympics.

What I am NOT proud of, is the way we screwed up the organization of such a historic event, the politics, the red tape, the bureaucracy and all the BS that led up to it.

PS. You think we can install the "get the fuck outta the way" cams onto ambulances, police cars and fire trucks once the YOG buses are done with them? It irritates the hell out of me that there are stupid drivers who would block the way of the REALLY important vehicles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Not Me, It's You.

Let me make something clear.

This is not a rant about the state of the public transport system in Singapore. In fact, over Tao Huay with my buddy Ridz I actually defended the quality of the Singapore public transport.

For the record, I think the bus and MRT network in Singapore is pretty good. Not great. Not flawless, but pretty good all in all.No. This is a rant about the arrogance of the powers that be, and the way they talk down to the rest of us like we're either stupid, blind, ignorant, resigned or all of the above.

On a separate note, let me again state for the record, that I understand the necessity of privatization and a good working relationship between government watchdog bodies and privatized monopolies in Singapore. I do not condone the cronyism but that's another story for another time.Now why do I think the powers that be are arrogant bastards who, after lifetime of sitting on the laurels of that our forefathers have worked their asses off to put our country on the map, have become complacent, snobby and pretty much treat the rest of us as lambs for the fleecing? Let's review.

1. Over the last few months, we have been loaded with just how wonderful the new distance-based fare system is.

Suddenly, inconsistencies start surfacing. Expected really. Nobody implements a nation-wide public transport plan without glitches. In fact, the fact, that they can roll it out with so FEW is a feather they can put on their hats.

But COME ON GUYS, SMRT boasts that it moves 2 million people a day. You'd think someone would notice by now after about 80 million commuter trips that there's SOME discrepancy between actual price paid, and the ads that inundate us at every turn yes?

So when problems with pricing are brought up, ADDRESS IT. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and give bullshit reasons.

2. Just to add onto the questions abt public transport, why is it that if you get onto the same numbered bus right after getting off, it's immediately considered a new trip?

3. An informal poll among friends tell me that the 30 odd percent of people who pay more have their fares increased by at least ten cents. The maximum trip on buses have been raised from $1.30 to $1.90.

The ones whose fares are reduced dropped by five cents or under.

No change in cost. Simple math shows, (Ms Loi would be proud of me) Profit maintained or increased. The implications? Go figure.

But then again SBS, SMRT and TIBS are privatised organizations whose bottom line needs to be maintained.

4. In July, SMRT mentions that trains are already pushing optimal limits when the trains are running between 2 to 3 minutes.

Suddenly, during YOG, the optimal limits get revised, and we have 300 extra trips a day.


Makes one wonder just how much extra capacity SMRT actually has.
5. Weren't our bus and MRT fares revised upwards last year or the year before because oil prices rose? Somebody help me with this. Now that it's down by half, any difference in the fare price?

6. Originally, the intention of EZ link cards when it was first launched in 2002 WAS distance based fares. or rather that was what I remembered. The distance based fares took 8 years to implement. Well done.
Eventually, when it comes down to the crunch, Singaporeans will have to suck it up won't we? And the cost of every other option is way more expensive. So what can we do? Walk?

Still, all in all. There is a cost for living in Singapore, and this is it. As is always been my policy when it comes to all the BS that comes out of government or government related organizations. Live and let live.

If I want to stay here, there's nothing I can do, nor am I willing to go the distance to attempt to change the SYSTEM in Singapore. I don't expect the powers that be to do me any favours, neither am I gonna do them any. But seriously, you think it's possible for SMRT to at least consider using a tad of that $306 million profit to hire a new PR agency?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Inspiration To Cook

After watching "Julie and Julia", I'm inspired towards themed cooking.

Maybe something a little easier to start, and then carry on from there, and then blog all my progress...

So now the thoughts in my head.

1. Pick up a cookbook and cook my way through aka Julie and Julia.

2. Start something with a theme and then find recipes to fit: I'm thinking all the recipes that are easy but look impressive, and good for men who don't really know their way around the kitchen. "Foolproof Recipes for the Single Male on date night"

3. Find all the recipes that might be lost through time, learn them and write them down. Let's start with my mom's recipes, and then let it spread to all the others.

So which should I start with first, and which one sounds better?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Inspiration from Rocky Balboa

He gave us more than boxing, and the song "Eye of the Tiger"

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Honour And Reputation

"I wouldn't have called it a lecture. Just a useful distinction, to clarify thought." He spread his hand, palm up, in a gesture of balance. "Reputation is what other people know about you. Honour is what you know about yourself."

"Hm"

"The friction tends to araise when the two are not the same..."

"... There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honour shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards. That's soul-destroying. The other way around is merely very, very irritating."

..."But if you're really asking for advice from my accumulated experience, I'm saying, Guard your honour. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards"

- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

Who says you don't learn anything useful from Sci Fi?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I May Never Cross At A Traffic Light Again...

Being the second oldest guy at a Parkour workshop simply means that I'll just have to push a little harder than the rest of the boys.

It also means that I need to push my sadly out of shape body a little more.

Is the pain worth it? TOTALLY.


What have I learnt from 2 hours of learning how to vault, roll and jump from slightly insane positions and circumstances?

I might not be able to jump exactly like these bunch of jokers...



But I sure as HELL can fall damn prettily.

Now for the my next trick, actually surviving the urban freestyle run. ONWARDD!!

For those of you who are interested to find out more about parkour, look here.

And for those who are interested in the run, sign up here!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Epiphany of the Day

If everybody ate desserts for breakfast, the world would be healthier, and people will actually be HAPPY to wake up in the morning.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010