Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Now, who here doesn't like gifts? We all do. Getting the right one, however, is almost an exact science. It has to trigger a sense of warmth, has to be useful, and suit the recipient's taste and character. Unlike some other places that I go, we don't exactly go back to the stores to return gifts that we don't like. So getting it right the 1st time is critical.

I used to organize most of the birthday parties when flying with my colleagues. I took it upon myself to get the cake, made sure all signed the card, and most times bought the present too. It's not easy, especially when it comes to buying the gifts. I'd only come across as thoughtless if I were to say, buy perfumes for the ladies, and another wallet for the guys.

I would like to think that I'm good with gifts. What I mean is I put some thought into the gift item. No photo frames, perfumes, or pens from me.

Women, in general, like gifts that invoke an emotion. For example; Branded items like handbags, wallets, jewelry etc. These don't exactly have many uses, yet cost quite a bit. Most are elated when they see the familiar logo or tag on said items. Yes, you'd notice that many are carrying the latest mp3 players around now, but how many of them actually know how to download and save those songs in there? Half the time the other half does the work of loading the tunes into the gizmo. What about digital cameras? Seriously, do you need a miniature-ish 5-6 megapixel one costing upwards of $500 when all you do is take a few snaps at a party, using ONLY the auto mode?

Men, on the other hand, like gifts that are an extension of themselves. It's common to have gals asking other guys what they can get for their men. For example; You don't just get any of the latest mobile phone thinking that'll please him. Does it have a 2megapixel camera with auto focus and auto flash, Bluetooth enabled, able to play mp3's, have a long battery life, have slots for expansion cards? Will the item cause an embarrassing bulge in his pocket? What about the cool factor, or would he become geekier than he already is? Will the phone be deemed as "old model" as soon as you buy it, cuz you didn't do enough research and notice that another BETTER one is coming out in a few weeks time, which costs less!

So as one can deduce, gift giving is really an art in itself. Whoever said that it's the thought that counts when he gets another belt for his birthday obviously has to buy his own favourite things all the time...

And what did I get this holiday season??


Monday, December 26, 2005

Oh Mickey, You so fine...

I've nothing to offer
"Gasp! Not even a rose?!"
What I came up with
Is for you this prose

I've always been pampered
By your attention
Yet I seem intent
On triggering your

I'm thankful
When you pluck my white hairs
And disappointed
For the times I make you flare

I'm proud
When I make you howl in bed
But cowered
When I see your eyes all welled up
And red

Suffice to say
I cannot always be there
But my feelings for you
Now I lay bare

Relationships don't all last
Till our dying days
But I'll always remember this one
Till I'm old and gray

Monday, December 19, 2005

Jingle Bells

The streets are jammed, the trains are packed, people are walking around with large shopping bags, and sales persons are the most industrious lot. Yes, X'mas is upon us again. If there's one Holiday that brings out the best and worst of us, it's Christmas.

We are a fortunate lot here on this sunny(with occasional showers) island. We 'celebrate' every donkey festival/holiday there is, even though we may not have any affiliation to it. I say 'celebrate' cuz it only means another few days off work for us. Save for a few people I know, not many celebrate their respective festivals with much fevour.

The trend now is to escape away during the long breaks that the holidays bring, pretty much throwing the meaning of celebration with friends and family outta the window, really. And you really wonder whether they checked their festive spirit away into the cargo hold when they board. Some of us work through the holidays and really don't catch a break when some, in their bid to enjoy more value for their flight, become a mini monster and ask for everything except the pilot seat in the plane.

I will be around this X'mas. Is it a blessing or not I dunno. I hope to spend some quality time with friends; away from the hustle and bustle of town, without paying exhorbitant prices for that same jug of beer, and having to rub against sweaty strangers in a club that I paid a ga-zillion bucks to get in after queuing for up to an hour, sometimes in the rain. Ahh, to be young again... ...

Just about the only gift I got was for my Sis. She's an Apple fan, and I must admit that I'm quite taken by their line of products. A look at the price tag promptly reminds me that I will only be window shopping at their ipods, iBook, iMac and i-everything else for some time to come. I haven't got down to buying anything else yet and it seems I'll have to make very select choices when the time comes to open up my wallet and swipe that credit card.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Tomorrow my very good friend recocoon will be holding his wedding dinner. Considering how busy he and his wife's schedules are, it's very commendable that they can pull it off without much cock-ups. Sure, there'll be those who didn't RSVP and decided to show up at the last-est minute, and also those that promised to come but don't. 2 flower girls became 6 cuz the kids were fighting over who should do the honors for "Yi-yi".

I have been tasked to be the MC for the night, ala Channel 8. I have to go thru the night speaking Mandarin, which is not easy even though I came from a school thick with Chinese cultural background.

First I tried to draft it by hand, then found that my Chinese handwriting is not very legible, plus I keep forgetting how to write certain words... Many of them in fact. Then I remembered downloading some Chinese word processor program online and used that. Took me an hour to finish writing one paragraph cuz I didn't wanna go thru the tutorial. When I finally got going I had difficulty translating what I had in my mind(English) onto hard copy(Mandarin) . I listened to a decent number of Mandarin lovey-dovey songs, cheated a bit and began looking up Chinese websites for inspiration(read:cut and paste) and threw in some song lyrics I remember from my karaoke days...

After an initial draft and fine tuning by going thru the series of events for the night with the couple, I got it down to a decent 1 page which I'll try to memorize and not peep at during the night. This feels like the Mandarin storytelling competition I went through in Primary school all over again...

Most people would bail when they are assigned the duty of the MC for the wedding dinner. For all their upfront bravado over beers and nuts, not many are thick-skinned enough to stand up on stage and be subject to the scrutiny of the many guests that will be tsk-ing every word you utter wrongly. That or they'll be too busy burying their faces with food and only look up when the lights are dimmed down, and that only is because they can't see where the rest of the sharksfin is...

I, though, took it in my stride as red is one of my very good friend from more than a decade back. Then there's this tiny narcissistic side to me that wishes to get into a nice Prada suit and swoon people over with my monologue. I'm tingling all over, in a good way, and promise to give him a very good intro when he steps thru the door tomorrow night.

Congratulations, Dude...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hey Mama!

My place has been inundated with many visits from Mummy Dearest recently. As some of you would know, my Bro has moved out to his own new pad and I have ben left to my own devices in this humble 'ol 3-room flat of mine.

It has been given a new lease of life under the hard working and often wrinkled hands of Mummy. The rooms are spotless, most of my clothes are handwashed, and I can actually eat off the kitchen floor even! How true it is when they say that 家有一老如有一宝. Although I'd stop short of having her here on a permanent basis, it's nice to come home after a week of flights and see that I have a clean place to wind down.My stoic stance on independance has been pleasantly rattled by her visits.

I hear that in some parts of Italy, grown men still send their Armani shirts and Prada pants back home from the cities so that it can be lovingly handwashed by their Mums. Movies depicting Italian mobsters hanging to Mama's every word are not too far fetched either, I think.

Now I get regular calls from Mummy Dearest for the minutest details around the home; a carton of eggs, bring in the laundered clothes, come home for home cooked food... Honestly, I'm getting spoilt by the greatest woman alive, in my books.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mood forecast: not too fantastic

Well, that's it. This time round we didn't even make it past the heats. You could cut the air of dejection in the air with a Swiss army knife. We had the heart, but couldn't bring it on when it mattered. We were flailing around in the water like an amateur group(which in fact we are la). All the ego boosting words on land were bailed out of our heads as we paddled like we were tourists on the Singapore River taxi cruise.

Granted, we did not have too much centralized training in preparation for the race. With our different schedules, and even less help from the people at the top, it's not easy to put together a credible team to take part in an ever popular water sport in Singapore. Hopes were pinned on this race to show people that we were not a fly-by-night outfit. Alas, even wearing your heart on your sleeves can't make up for the lack of practice, and we now have to spend Sunday having a "congratulatory" high tea at some swanky hotel instead of soaking in the adrenalin rush of the finals. Sad, really.

This year too I really thought I had a shot at the promotion exercise coming up soon. Alas, I was not short-listed for the interview and I will spend the next 12 months or so still loading hot meals onto meal trays while taking instructions from some fresh faced "leaders".

It didn't bother me that I went 10 yrs not making the grade to be in contention for a supervisory post. It doesn't bother me that I have to take instructions from colleagues who have a little more than a couple of years flying around. And having a better roster, hence higher income, than most of them definitely softens the blow.

I got my hopes up though. And that killed me somehow. Some say where there's no expectations, there won't be disappointments. This time I forgot about this li'l axiom, and started to fantasize about that new document bag to hold the paperwork I'll be expected to do; new shoes that won't get scuffed up too much from all that kicking of carts and squatting; and the persona I should take on when I don the darker blue jacket in order to ooze an air of authority.

Two emails in the space of a few hours saw to it that all the above will remain a mirage in my professional life.

Boo hoo.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Dammit, not selected for promotion again!

More galley work for years to come...

Monday, November 21, 2005

I should be so lucky...

Well the day is here. My Bro is finally moving into his new pad right across Zouk this week. Ahh a fresh start at a newly renovated 3-roomer. I remembered the first time I got my place; the sense of ownership just fills you up with pride. I just hope that he does a better job at maintaining his new flat than mine, which is in a sorry state after a short 4 yrs.

As would be the case, he bought alotta new furnishings and electrical products to make the house feel like a home. It's probably along with one of these purchases that he won a brand new digital camera, a 7.1mp Canon IXUS S700!! Dammit for a guy who won't give up his trusty old Nokia( so old I can't recall the model liao) cuz "very hardy, kena water still can use!", he's a very lucky bloke to be in possession of such a high end consumer product.

Luck. Many of us think we never seem to run into any our whole lives. We're still plowing away everyday of the week, hoping that Lady Luck will flash her pearly whites on us one day and say," Here, have a dash of good fortune, just to get you on your way." Whether it's queuing up to buy the latest permutation of numbers, inspired by the strange dream you had last night; buying on impulse so that you can fill in a couple of forms to win that new ride or spanking new apartment; or just hantum and join any reality talent contest,
sans talent, hoping someone will spot you and make you the next William Hung(where's he now, BTW?) or Hui Ge(Jacky's lackey, I used to call him) ; or go to the carpark and find to your delight that you are now the proud owner of a Ferrari Testarossa!

Ok the last one is pure fantasy, but hey one can always hope, really really hard eh??

Monday, November 14, 2005

Smoke gets in your eyes...

Remember when you said that when you grew up you'd not turn into the drunk/gambler/smoker that adults were? Well, 10 yrs past and you did turn out to be a binge drinker/habitual gambler/"social" smoker that you are, didn't ya?

My first puff was from my Daddy's pants pocket, a stick of Dunhill. Not those new fancy filtered ones that you see at airport duty free, but the original Ah-pek types, in a red box and all. I got caught by my Grandma then, and was given an earful by my 2nd elder Bro the same night.

That didn't stop me from trying to emulate the state of cool that came with smoking in those days. I graduated to Salem, dabbled with Consulates, tried Marlboro Menthol for a long while before settling with Marlboro Menthol Lights.

What gave me the push was when I found out how cheap duty-free ciggies were outta here. Really, one could smoke half a stick and throw it away without feeling the pinch at all. I was getting a puff in between any situations; waiting for a bus, after a meal, while crapping( which is most song-ah, according to a few...), in between drinks at the club, for posing purposes, etc, etc...

Really, to begin with, I was not a natural born smoker. I could halt the habit as and when I wanted to; before a major exercise during NS stint, on long flights on a plane, on a major date, or when I simply ran out and refused to buy those heavily taxed ones available in convenient stores. So quitting was never a problem for me, the only question being when...

It came to a head when I was at a NYE party few years back. The drinks were flowing, people were air-kissing all over the place, and I was puffing up whenever my hands were devoid of a drink. I ended up devouring 20 sticks in less than 3 hours. Now, that may not mean much to regular smokers, but to a social one like me, it meant hell when I woke up on New Year Day with my nose all choked up. I had to breathe through my mouth for a few hours, and that got me thinking of laying off the nicotine for a day or two. It turned into a week, then months, then after 6 months I gave away whatever stock I had and threw away my lighters and ciggy cases.

I've not had to touch one since I gave it up many years ago. In a way, one is better off starting off early and quitting now, what with the low tolerance for smokers by the holier than thou populace and the marked up prices of these li'l stick of fixes. At least I got to taste a bit of hell before the cover charge to it's gates became way too high. Imagine; $300-odd for your monthly fix? That's enough to run your car for a long time, even with high fuel prices! And if you don't drive, it's enough to last you through many a Happy Hour at your favourite watering hole.

Now, if only I could get rid of me beer belly...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Starting all over again

What happens when a relationship that means the world to you ends? Well I had a first hand account of this on my most recent trip.

It was supposed to be a gathering of sorts, a getting-to-know-you session. I got the drinks ready, the music was playing on my very nice PSP and Logitech Playgear Amp speakers. The 3 of them arrived and settled in. I was getting ready to raise my glass when she blurted out that she'd just ended an 8 yr relationship. The poor gal was fighting her tears back while recounting how the fateful day when her man bid her adieu, via SMS. Rest of us did our best to calm her down and change the subject. We have been by her side most times since then for the past week.

Now, yours truly have never been in a situation where I surrender all my emotions to that one person. It is precisely what's happening to the gal above that I keep my cards close to myself. Many of them meet in school, and usually the guy is the older one. So this little gal who hasn't known the real world has been leaning against him for most of her adult years. No wonder she's so devastated when he left her. In my opinion if the person you with is not making significant commitments after say, 6 months, it's time to say bye bye and move on. Sure it's tiring, sure it's gonna hurt, but hey what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger I think.

No one can claim to be an expert, and definitely every case is unique. Many times when presented with a sob story involving broken hearts, I just listen. Yes a bit of advise here and there, but nothing that will change that person's situation too much. It really is up to the individual how they are gonna handle it. Some turn to alcohol; others work their ass off so that end of day they are so tired all they can do is sleep; still there are those that depend so much on a network of support that it's not advisable to leave them alone for long periods of time. Different people, different strokes.

It really is not easy to be responsible for another person's emotional well-being. A path that I steer clear as much as possible. Sure, it is an escapist attitude, shunning people who care for you. I do these things as I can't reciprocate the same way. Perhaps one day I'll meet my match and have that person appear nonchalant to all my advances. Then you can turn around and tell me," Look who's talking now..."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

27 bottles of beer on the wall ...

The group from Samui trip decided to get together and have a nice meal at Bliss Cafe@Punggol Park. This establishment is known for serving some nice wines at reasonable prices, good food and pleasant service.

We sat down and ordered our food. I went for the filet mignon with onion sauce. Drink order, and their jaws dropped when I ordered iced tea.

"Eh you sick ah, why drinking iced tea only?!"

"No la, detox before race day mah.."

"Ha ha that's new. Wa you look so sober, not used to it leh..."

"Basket, wait till 27th, I onz you people anytime!"

"Can tahan not? Come la sip sip la."

"No, thanks."

"Come la, won't destroy your rowing strokes one."


"Come la, you don't drink we feel uneasy leh."

"Nabeh, NO means NO, can or not?!!"

"Aha see! Alcohol deficiency disorder! So grouchy!"


I'm happy to report that I came away unscathed, sober, and in a small way, triumphant.

24 more days..counting down..

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Watch your Mouse, Kid!!

So much has been written about the responsibilities one has when writing down their thought in a popular medium like this, yet still I'm gonna repeat it here.

I heard in the grapevine that a few persons have gotten into trouble writing down what transpires during the course of their work. That made me go back through my entries, to see if I'd left behind any 'incriminating evidence'. Thankfully, and also according to my friends, my entries are very general, sometimes even vague, when it involves my professional life.

I decided to do a search online for these online journals. It's not too difficult to find them, just come up with any permutation of airline terms and, if you so free and kaypoh like me, you'd more likely come across 1 or 2 in the sea of search results.

Those that I read are actually entries by new colleagues about their experiences. It's a new job for them, one that is, you have to admit, very different from a regular 9-5 job on ground. Some are peppered with anecdotes of the job, most talk about their travels in a foreign land, yet more describe how the job itself is so vastly different from what they used to believe it to be. I've yet to come across one who's written from a senior's perspective, meaning most of these are penned down by people who's only been in the job for 6mths to a year, on average.

As you might have known by now, people can get into serious trouble with what they write online, and your guess is as good as mine how many have had to rescind their post or take it off the server totally. I guess the only way they can be absolutely sure they don't get into trouble is to have password protected entries. That, too, can just be cut and pasted and circulated via emails.

So, they say the pen/mouse is mightier than the sword. How true.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ho, ho, ho so soon??

Used to be, we didn't know where we were flying to until the next week. Now I know where exactly I'll be come X'mas, New Year, everyday before that and everyday in between. Takes a bit of the mystery away, but I'm sure it's very helpful to people with family and, to a certain extent, couples.

I thought my Nov roster was tight, December is jammed packed! Granted I have about a week off to get ready for my good friend Redcocoon's wedding dinner, but after that it's all work, work, work!

Have you noticed that they are starting to put up X'mas trees in front of the larger shopping malls at Orchard? I do get to have X'mas off this year, though where or how I'm gonna celebrate it is still very iffy at this point. Have yet to decide if I'm gonna buy any presents for anyone this year. It's all gone very commercial since 5-7 yrs back, and I think it's just a chance for people to spend their hard earned bonuses(if any), and be in a popularity contest by way of how nice, big or expensive their presents are. Yes, it's consumerism at it's prime, this time of year.

I hope after the Nov race I have some time to consolidate my energy and channel it to some specific areas. Right now I'm a bit scattered here and there, so hopefully as the year draws to an end I can be in a better position to face 2006.

So, have you been naughty or nice??

Monday, October 24, 2005

Getting to Know You

We do it all the time, everywhere we go. We make up our minds about people we don't know, without bothering to find out more. I'm not talking about making friends or asking them to be your best buddy or anything like that. No, I'm just saying that we should actually have a conversation with the said person before deciding whether they are worth the effort or not.

I came across this guy who happens to train with me for dragon boat racing. Now, truth be told, I resented him joining us in the 1st place already. Plus he seems to have something to say about the training ALL THE TIME. Therefore I was not that over the moon when I found out he was operating the same London flight with me the Sat evening just past.

I didn't come into contact with him during the flight, except for when he came down to say hi during the lull period. We exchanged pleasantries, and I said I'll text him if my team decides to have a Chinese lunch at Bayswater. I really didn't think too much of it afterwards, as I was prepared to crash out while in chilly, wet London.

He bumped into me however, on Sunday. I decided to try out this Nooch-concept restaurant across from the regular crew joint. He haven't had his lunch so we went in and sat at a table for 2.

More pleasantries were exchanged, we chatted about the one common topic that we had; dragon boat racing. As the lunch drawn on, our conversation stretched into work, relationships, and all that jazz...

I was surprised that I was exchanging so much information with this guy that I barely knew, and in the beginning, actually resented. We went to an English pub later to watch Everton hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw(finally!), along with a couple pints of Guiness. We only parted ways when both of us got tired from the jetlag and decided to head back to our respective hotels. I came away however, gaining an insight into how the crew in his department viewed those in mine, and how we are both so blinded by all the bureaucracy from the management. In a perfect workplace, there'll be so much more communication between the 2 departments that it'll be so much more fun to fly.

Yes. And I'll live in a fancy apartment, fly as a hobby and have a svelte female chauffeur drive me around in a Bentley.

So, can't we all just...get along?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Why you so bochup??

"You used to be so kind, so sweet. Now you're just this cynical bastard who has a warped view on most things that happen around you. I want the old ahtiong back..."

No one can argue that as one grows up, things change. Seriously, I dunno when it was that I became so blase about many things. Nothing excites me too much now. I've settled into a cruise mode, letting the world rush me by, not caring, not participating.

So, have you seen this guy?

Me a virgin...NOT!

There we were at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, which according to my Sis, has the best seats n sound system in town. It was a choice between the soccer movie Goal or the comedy The 40 yr old Virgin. We decided to flip a coin for it. Heads. The comedy it is then.

I saw this movie poster at the theatres in San Francisco last month when I was there, but I was too jetlagged to catch it. It stars the same guy who plays the news anchor in Bruce Almighty. You see these bit part characters all over every movie you see, and never realise how much potential they have sometimes.

So we bought tickets and surprisingly for a 9pm show on a weekday it was pretty full house. We got to our seats and settled in. Not that many commercials or previews before the movie started, which is nice.

Steve Carell plays a guy who works in an electronic store. Over a poker game his male colleagues find out he's a virgin still at 40( hence the straighforward title). The rest of the movie is really his journey towards a quest to be de-flowered. I won't spoil it for some of you, but I have this word of warning; don't be munching on your popcorn or sipping on your soda while you watch the movie. You'd just as soon spurt everything out laughing your ass off! I was laughing so hard and loud it hurt!

I haven't seen a movie for a while now, and this one is a good one to kick start it. And yes, Cathay Cineliesure is the best cinema in town.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Killing me softly...

The other day, on a whim, I went for a 40min shoulder & back massage. Now, before this, my idea of a good massage almost always involved various forms of "special services". What can I say, I was young and hormones were poring out of my every pore.

This time it was different. The action takes place in a spacious open hall. The contraption that I was supposed to mount looks like a cross between an incline bench and a kinky sex toy.


"First time here Sir?"

Where I used to go this was the usual opening line coo-ed by a nubile young masseuse, in heavily accented English. This time it's a chap in his 40's, his voice booming in heavily accented English.


"Scared pain? Scared pain I do softly..."

"Ya please, do softly. Thank you, Uncle."

"OK ah, steady. Relac ok?"

He started from my neck, then moved on to my shoulders. Not bad, I could get used to this. I found out later that he was just warming up.

He proceeded to jab his elbow into my back next, throwing in his body weight for good measure. This is supposed to be healthy?! He continues to prod and poke his way from my shoulders down to my lower back. I'm trying to breathe properly with his every stab into my boney self.

"How? Shiok not?"


"I very soft liao. Your back not healthy, that's why you feel pain."


"Wa you so pain meh? You wriggling all over leh!"


It became the longest and most excruciating 40 min of that day. I've never been touched like that by an old man before too. Gosh, people actually sign up for up to 30 sessions for this kind of "therapy"?

Go figure...

Friday, October 14, 2005

It's..It's aliiiive!!!

Yes, yes, yes!! My PC is back! Apparently the motherboard was short-circuited and that took some time to fix.

I've been away for more than a week. So much to write, yet I have so many things that I've not taken care of. Will make a trip back to blog-land soon... ...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

This just in...

That's it. I'm throwing in the towel, raised the white flag, given up.There's only so much DIY I can do. After switching over to a new power supply, the damn thing still wouldn't hum! So it's a trip to the repair shop for some semi-professional help.Hopefully by the time I get it back next week Repair Man has a black beauty waiting for me. For my dear readers (all 4 of you) , you'd have o put up with the slow update to my blog.


I tried my hand at cookin dinner the other day. It was to be a 4 course dinner. Now I'm no Jamie Oliver around the kitchen, in fact my kitchen exists for purely asthetic reasons, save for the occasional boiling of water and instant noodles. So along the way I had a lot of help from my dear Sis, who's quite the chef from what I hear from her friends...
After a trip to the supermarket, I came up with the following;

Steamed chicken wings marinated in whiskey
Vegetable/japanese mushroom soup
Pan fried white cod with dash of teriyaki sauce
Red Bean ice cream

I'm glad to report that dinner went quite well, my dinner date didn't keel over from my culinary expedition. I wouldn't be embarking on another journey though, and will have to depend on the neighbourhood S-11 for my grub for some time to come...


The Singapore Regatta is just around the corner. Training will be stepped up and the feeling is we should be able to do better than the last season, with more teams entered and qualifying for the finals. So if you're not doing anything 26/27 Nov, head down to Boat Quay for some fun and games. If you like, hang around for the post competition party on the 27th, the guys seem to have that in the bag already...


Will be making another road trip when I get back from work next week. It's Malacca this time. I hear there's not much to see save for some historical sights, but there's lots to eat so it'll be a hoot. Wonder if any kind soul can provide me with more info other than those that I can find on the internet, maybe play local guide for a day??

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Still haven't got round to fixing my PC yet. Am dependent on internet cafes and computers provided by overseas hotels to retrieve my emails and update my blog.

I used to sit in front of my PC hours on end, doing nothing productive really. Checking emails, reading others' blogs, chatting. I have woken up at 8am, and forgoing lunch, stayed online till 4pm. Mind you, I have not even lifted a toothbrush yet at that point, but there I was gallivanting on the world wide web. I've managed to fill up my 80GB hard drive with quite a bit of music, movies and other naughty things that I had to get a DVD burner to archive some of them.

That's when the PSU went 'poof'.

After having to share the PC with others, I'm beginning to streamline my online usage. First in, check emails. This is a simple enough exercise as outta 10 that I get only 2 or 3 are worth reading, the rest being forwarded mails, old jokes, and online scams.

Next, see anyone comment on my blog or not (very hiao I know). I know, I know, the point of starting a blog is not so that you'd gain 'readership', but it would be nice to know that those who do read it leave a line or two.

After that, read what others have to say on their blogs. Granted again, you wonder if some of these bloggers would've been noticed if they never started blogging in the first place. I've heard of how a few choice bloggers almost spend their entire waking hours together, at the same watering hole. If one didn't know, you'd have called them "Geeks", now they're like e "Cool" bunch. I understand there's a group that refuses to have their photos taken in case, I dunno, we use them in a court of law??! Of course, they could be just a misunderstood bunch, and going up to say "Hi!" wouldn't hurt at all...


A friend has just settled into his new place, his castle in the sky (2nd floor actually), his domain, his retreat. Being someone from the contracting business, it was only natural that his new pad was done up in the best taste. I should describe it as a tropical retreat, yet there's no overkill with too many plants or wooden ornaments all over the place. I jokingly asked which was my room, in case I got bored with the one I own.

That being said, I always wanted to redo my flat, anyone's flat for that matter. I recalled grabbing my bro's floorplan for his new flat and starting to doodle out what furniture goes where and match them with colors. I used to hoard Home n Decor the magazine, wondering how to get hold of huge amounts of cash to, how they say it, "turn a house into a home". Too bad I don't have a design streak in my bones, else I won't have to contend with a badly renovated flat now. Still, I'm still optimistic something can be done to my flat, especially when my bro moves out at the end of the year.


"Remember yesterday,
walking hand in hand.
I wanna hear you say,
I remember you....."

Thanks to my sis, who kindly acceded to my song dedication Thursday night. Go spunky \m/ !!

Monday, September 19, 2005

ahtiong jin geh kiang

It had to happen. I tried to upgrade my PC DIY style, and after 2 hours the PC power supply went "POOF" on me!!


Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I'm not fond of speaking in front of a crowd. 3-4 persons, I can handle. Put me in front of an audience of 10 or more, I can be a quivering mess.

Recently, after dragon boat training, Coach took the novel route of asking everyone what/how they felt about the training that day. I was one of the last few to speak. Whilst the ball was passed around, I was actually struggling for something intelligent/thoughtful/encouraging to say. Not that I didn't have anything to say, just that I was constructing it right there in my head. Usually I'd have pen and paper plus the luxury of time to come up with stuff to say. However, this caught me wholly by surprise and after a day of rowing, your mind doesn't function too well, on a linguistic level.

Finally my turn came. Deep breath. What came out afterwards was a botched up attempt at motivational speaking. My voice shudderd with emotion, my lines that I rehearsed in my head all jumbled up, and people around me were straining to make out what I wanted to put across. Should've taken the easy way out and said that our rowing sucked big time that day, but that's not very peppy now is it?

I remembered hosting a wedding dinner once for my nice couple friends. It was a relaxed atmosphere, set at a Punggol Fishermen village pub. I had been asked to be the MC for the night, with the caveat that I had to be bilingual.


Now, Diana Ser I am not, but I gamely took the task by the horns. I flipped through Chinese dictionaries, watched and learned from the hosts on mandarin TV programs, even typed out the script with Chinese software! The big day came, I got all liqoured up to calm my frazzled nerves. Blessed with a bad sound system and a microphone that sputtered along, I was coming across more like a nervous clown than an MC. The fact that I had to switch languages every paragraph just made it more harder. Luckily, my assignment ended after the couple signed their 'contract', and I was back at the tables drinking myself silly again.

Did I say that practice makes perfect? I've been solicited to be the MC for redcocoon's wedding in Dec. Good news; I have a partner in crime this time. Bad news; said partner in crime doesn't speak mandarin. No clown costume this time, the traditional Chinese dinner is being held at a fancy-schmancy hotel banquet hall. Time to bring out that Prada suit and dust off the 'ol zi dian again ...

Hotel got dress code, clown costume not allowed!

Current affairs

It happens to the best of us; not keeping in touch with people around you. It could be as innocuous as not showing up for THAT gathering. Suddenly, you're outta the circle, left out of the fellowship of that particular ring. You try your darndest best to get back in, apologizing effusively for the last no-show. Sometimes you do get back in, but things don't seem the same anymore; the warmth, the camaraderie just no longer seem to be extended to you. Then you wonder how you can make amends, hoping that the inner circle would welcome you back into the bosom of the clan. The shite has hit the proverbial fan...

I've been fiddling with my 3-mth old A520, familiarizing myself with all the settings that I can possibly configure to make that one good shot. It's been met with mixed results; some days I take nice ones, others I suck at it big time. I take comfort in knowing that most people started off like me too, through a series of trial and error. I try to take shots of the most mundane of things around; the old street people, an action figure, buildings, even the salt shaker at the restaurant table. Trying to go beyond the standard big grins, choreographed poses, and "eh, wait I not ready yet!". Candid shots are much more fun eh? Click on my Flickr(on the right) and post some comments can?

IMG_0190 Different people, Different strokes...

Things are crazy around me right now. A tight roster whereby I'm flying off every other day doesn't bode well for the state of my flat. Everything is left hanging around unattended to, un-washed, un-dusted. I'd imagine the cleaners, if I were to hire any, would be tsk-ing all the way over the mismanagement of such a small flat. To think I'd be left to my own devices when my bro moves out in a month or so. Thankfully I have help from an angel from time to time. My Mum's also interested in moving back in with me, but I'm still iffy about that. Not exactly very bachelor pad when you wake up in your boxer and find your Mummy dearest going through your laundry. I'm sure there's a compromise, just have to find that piece of middle ground.

Next stops: Dubai, Osaka, London and also a short stopover in Hong Kong.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Happy Belated Birthday to... ...

I just celebrate my birthday recently in KL. For most of us at our age, which is not too old, celebrating a birthday doesn't have to involve binge drinking, stripping, or embarrassing ourselves at a local pub by way of singing or dancing.

I remember when I was a teeny-bitty ahtiong. Birthdays used to mean that we'll have more sweets/cakes to have during recess from the rich man's son/daughter from our class. Many of us took pleasure in it as most couldn't afford more than the regular bowl of noodles and bandung during recess.

Secondary school was a different ball game. Where I went there were more rich men's' sons/daughters around. So we waited with bated breathe as the birthdays drew nearer; would there be some special dessert after recess for us? Would there be some special memento sitting at the table before the day ends? Or maybe we'll be invited to a BBQ after school?!! It was the secondary school version of Big Brother; you're either in, or out...

Going into adult life, birthdays are dreaded. For most it meant that a year has passed them by again without them achieving anything of great magnitude. It meant another 365 days has went by where their lives has not improved, financially or emotionally. Most choose to work through their Birthdays, hoping that no one would find out, and remind them how miserly small their lives are on this earth... ...

This year, however , I had a trip, literally. I took a bus up to KL with a companion, and had an enjoyable time going thru the malls and gorging on all that local food. Lemmme tell you for a fact that shopping for shoes is serious business for the ladies, you better stand outta the way when they get started or else....

I received nice SMS and emails, also a nice cake on my birthday, which goes to show that when you are nice to others, they're nice to you back. I also got the new Arsenal jersey, which I particularly like... No big parties,no binge drinking, kinda sedate in my books actually but hey, one has to start growing up yo?

Happy birthday to one and all...

Friday, August 26, 2005

A tale of 2 cities

Will be leaving for Hong Kong/San Francisco this evening. There are some places that one flies to so often that when you check in all you wanna do is to stay in the room and veg out with room service and watch cable tv. These 2 places are not like that.

I can't remember the last time I visited Hong Kong. The streets are always bustling, people are always rushing from place to place, great food is always round every corner. Other than the electronics shop operated by unscrupulous salesmen(one should never buy anything electronic from Hong Kong, our island has the best deals, really), most retail shops are ran by friendly, courteous staff that greets you when you enter, dig through piles of clothes to find the size you want, and if they don't have it, ring up the closest branch to check for you without you asking. If you were to leave empty handed they'll still wish you a good evening and ask that you come back again. Many think that the Japanese standard is the penultimate when it comes to customer service, but I find it quite robotic and frankly I don't understand much of what they saying most times la. Hong-Kongers make you feel like you walking into a place ran by your friend; asking whether you have eaten, talk about the latest movie/weather, even going as far as to compliment the way you wear your outfit. Now that's what I call service that warms the heart... And what do you know, we have set up a task force(again) to up our service standard here in Singapore(again)!

Amongst the 3 US cities I travel to for work(the other 2 being New York and Los Angeles), San Francisco rates as one of the more touristy in my books. There's always a queue for the expensive cable car ride to Fishermen's Wharf, when you can actually be like the locals and hop onto a public bus to reach there. I've taken the cruise around San Francisco Bay 3 times already, each time bringing some wide-eyed junior crew there. Those who just watched the deliriously delicious Charlie & the Chocolate Factory will not wanna miss Ghiradellis chocolates while in the Bay area. Food wise I'm not fussy, preferring to just gobble down the nearest burger or slice pizza I can lay my hands on, though some of my colleagues swear by THAT Thai or Japanese restaurant and simply must walk a couple of streets to get there. The movie theatre experience is also different; here I buy a ticket for one movie, but sneak into another theatre after taking a toilet break. I haven't got caught yet, since most times it's a weekday and there's a thin crowd. It's a nice way to stay awake to beat the jet lag coming in from Hong Kong.

I will be going away after for a short trip to KL after my flight. Taking a bus there at 11pm, I should get into KL city by morning. Did some research and hope it comes in handy when I get there. I don't recall much about KL, except that it looks and feels just like Orchard Road. Hopefully I can gain a new perspective of the city during my jaunt there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ole ole ole ole.....

Yesiree the EPL season has started again. Where better to watch the kickoff than in London right?

I was fortunate enough to have been on duty there the weekend past, and so managed to catch all the matches played by the top 4 teams. I had to settle for watching them on cable in a pub, but the atmosphere and a couple of Guiness made up for it.

Manchester United are hungry for the title this season, and have the means to do so too in Ruud & Roo. Liverpool too wants to improve on their positioning, though for how long they can depend on Stevie is anyone's guess. The Chelski abomination marches on, inflating the transfer market in the whole of Europe, while buying up every emerging talent there is at obscene prices. Arsenal still plays their style of free-flowing football. I feel that this is their season to rebuild upon their youth players, but they should have a decent finish.

It's just the beginning, and like some bookies say; the ball is round, anything can happen...

Friday, August 12, 2005

A tale of 2 Dishes...

I went to watch Dim Sum Dollies last night with a few of my friends. It is a popular cabaret/musical that had a good run for the past 2 years, each involving topics relevant to the current(political?) climate then. I managed to get us the last few tickets of the show and sat right up there in the front row. It was like watching an Omnimax movie, where you have to lean back to see all the action. The gals in the group got an up close look at the Lor-My-Guys ( back-up dancers ) whilst I got to look up the Dollies' costumes :P

No stones were left un-turned in this production's search for material. The NKF saga came up at least twice, which is already a stretch as it's been played out in the media for so long. There's some parodies of movies, which I think unnecessary. There was one of food court cleaning aunties, and a stretched skit about Bollywood movies. They threw in a game show, an ACTUAL game show, right after the first intermission! This is no doubt a way to please sponsors and bring in much needed revenue, knowing how the arts groups suffer in Singapore. I cringed throughout it though, and I felt the show went downhill from there. Hossan Leong doesn't bring much to the production too, except the usual cross-dressing and fake accents.

All in all, a good effort, but quite forgettable.

We went for Dim Sum after the show at Geylang. Compared to the big bucks we spent on the tickets for the theatre production, this one hit the spot, and at $8 per head only!! We had porridge, a good selection of delights, and washed that all down with a bowl of chilled chrysanthemum tea. Plenty more satisfying than the one served up cold and bland at the Esplandade theatre earlier on...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Guys night out...

On National Day Eve, I called up my buddy redcocoon and headed down to Marina Bay as my Sis' The UnXpected were hired to give a short performance at the Powerhouse, next to Glutton Square.

We decided to buy take-aways from Carl's Junior, a little known burger joint new in Singapore. Big ass burgers, expensive too, but satisfying nonetheless. We sat and enjoyed other performances that were going on.There were podium dancers(not very good ones..), and I think the group called Fireflys. Now the Fireflys are a group of fire twirling peeps and drummers that perform all over. I guess for safety reasons they were using glow sticks, which is a pity. The main event for that hour has to be the band performance. The stage was set, and I must say I've never seen them on such a big stage. You can see that the guys were playing their hearts out, and had more armroom than the one that they usually get at Balaclava and Wala Wala. I took some clips down with me mobile and will try to put it up soon.

After that we moved on to Wala Wala and continued with our drinks. The band was more subdued, playing radio friendly hits but still entertaining an appreciative crowd. Brandon and Shirlyn had to rush off to KL for a recording for their coming album right after their set. I believe it will have more orginal materials this time round, so watch out for that.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Silence is not golden

The silence is deafening.

Our hands touch, but are not held.

We're in the same space, yet we are strangers to each other.

How long can this go on?

How soon before one of us crumbles?

I shudder... ...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Forever friends?!!

It's been a while since I caught up with some friends of mine. So over the past few days(I've got 5 days off from work), before I fly off to Osaka, I had been busy making plans to catch up over a cuppa or dinner or movie. It used to be so spontaneous, meeting up with friends. I guess as the demands of daily life sets in, even friends have to 'scheduled' into the calendar.

We chat about many things; work, social life, gossip. Sometimes, just sitting there next to each other is company enough. No calls to answer, no colleague bugging you about the deadline. For that couple of hours or so, it's just the your friend(s) and you. It's funny how we lose touch with the people closest to us while trying to build new, often short-term, relationships with strangers we just met.

A friend told me that as you grow older, you'd need less friends. What I think he means is, if you'd already a strong support base of friends, there really isn't the need to go around pleasing the new 'friends' you just made. Be nice to them, yes, but don't miss the forest for the trees...

Let's see...Who else can I call next on my mobile??

Monday, August 01, 2005

Back on the Boat again...

Just came back from Rome flight, so am fighting off ZhouGong to write this down. The internet service was down the weekend I was in the Hotel, and the damn Farangs don't work on Sat so this is actually a back-dated blog.
And so training for the dragon boat team has resumed. We had went on a recruitment drive recently, and did get some names on the sheet, how many will actually show up is another thing.

I'd laid off after the competition(we came in 4th, did I say that already?) and have been pigging out ever since. I more or less planted myself at Wala Wala for the whole time; gulped down Hoe's and wolfed down countless chicken wings. Along the way found 2 drinking kakis in the team who always seem to have time for one more drink!

So it was with much trepidation that I approached the 1st training last Thurs. We limbered up and were put through our paces. After the jog/sprints I puked again. Looks like it's back to square one for me. The rowing was more like a revision, as we had new rowers with us. It's good to be in the sun again, I've became pale since and can't wait to have that dark tan again. We're gearing up for the Nov competition, the River Regatta, and so should up the tempo towards Oct. This'll be a tougher one as it basically boils down to the team that has the most stamina and brute strength. I'm sure we'll turn out ok though, with the kind of spirit that we are currently running on.

Have to get meself in shape again to book a place on the boat. Am not exactly the biggest guy in the team so have to fight my way onto the boat!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Close encounter of the Blogger kind

There She was
And time stood still
I sat transfixed
Drinking in her beauty

Stealing glances
Here & there
I'd wanted to move in
But didn't dare

So I sat back
Sipping my Johnny Walker Black
Slinking into a dark corner
I can see why so many
longed for her

It was time to leave
She'd stayed on
Maybe I should go say "Hi!"
Alas, no, I just couldn't get it on...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hear ye...Hear ye...

Well another weekend spent at home. Laundry's piling up, suitcase still unpacked from previous trip, and I'm going to witness my Bro getting registered tomorrow, before flying off to Beijing on a red-eye flight. You'd think I'm running around like a headless chicken, but nope, I'm using my powerful procrastinating skills to leave everything till the last minute! A skill honed well over the years, it should not be attempted by the weak of heart.

I'm going to this workshop organized by Canon since I got hold of their products, courtesy of my dear Sis. Hopefully I come away with some knowledge on how to take more interesting shots rather than point-and-shoot or over-exposing subjects to too much flash. Also picking up some tips online and also thru Wen's Flickr . Dunno whether I'll then head to Wala or not. Training will start soon, and I don't wanna show up at the boat area with too much of a paunch.

I'll be volunteering at the recruitment drive on Wed, hopefully can sign more people up for future trainings. I was looking forward to the twice weekly trainings, but was told that it'll only be once a week for now. I can understand that the coaches and team manager can't always sacrifice their time for the team, however I wonder if it'll just fizzle out if we don't have trainings on more days...

I have a London trip coming up soon, and one more in August. Will pack my good walking shoes to enjoy the summer, and also take less public transport. You read,hear and see it happening over there, and wonder if the same thing happened here, how'd we react? We are a pampered, bochup lot here on the little red dot, no matter how the men in suits say otherwise. Best to avoid crowded places like the coming Comex 2005 , those places are a disaster waiting to happen.

Speaking of August, the Hungry Ghost Festival coming hor? Luckily the rain comes now and then, so you won;t have too much ashes flying around. Gotta remember to dry my clothes indoors, in case it gets burnt. I saw a preview of a local movie about this period, could go watch it.

Bet you missed this ad in TNP recently....

Friday, July 22, 2005

2 less lonely people in the world...

WTF, my bro is getting registered this weekend. And I'm the last one to find out?!!

Dammit he's so nonchalant about it, like he's gonna play a round of golf like that?!

Sunday, July 17, 2005


There he was, an affable chap running a Chinese restaurant in an adopted land. One moment he was going on about how we should visit the beach on Sunday, next he was lying in a pool of blood, gasping for his life... ...

We had went to his restaurant for dim sum lunch. He immediately recognized us as Singaporeans. He took to us almost in an instant, talking to us like old friends. I had never visited his eatery, and was busy ordering food for the rest of us. He took pains to go through what we ordered, advising us not to order too much in case we can't finish it. He even sat down to have a glass of wine with my colleagues.

He was raving about a beach that we should visit on a Sunday, giving us directions and all. You can see that this guy was very hospitable, just because we came from the same land as he does true that the grass is greener on the other side, but when you look back, you'd miss the food, the lingo, the people. We just know instinctively that we come from the same place where hawker fare is abundant, and people are just so liberal with their 'lahs' & 'lehs'.

The lunch went on very well, the food was delicious, and yes I had ordered too much food. We were getting ready to leave when there was a commotion. I saw a gun waved around, pushed my friends onto the floor, and stayed down.

It was over as fast as it had happened. The owner was now lying on a chair, with a pool of blood on the floor. I didn't hear any shots, so I'd think he was stabbed. Badly. Honestly I was at a loss. I just started shouting, "get him lying on the floor!" and shoved the tables around. I was panicking. You'd think you only read about these incidents in the papers, or see the news in TV. It happened right in front of me. All I could see was that pool of blood. I helped him onto the floor, he was foaming at the mouth already. The waiter, who's his son by the way, was asking us to have a look at him. What he didn't realized was that himself was stabbed, albeit not that badly. I took care of the son, holding onto his wound to stop it from further bleeding. Thankfully two other diners came forward to assist, placing the towkay in a recovery position. Others called in the ambulance and police.

I did all I could to calm the son down, who was swearing about revenge while at the same time asking about his father. I stayed with him as long as I could until the paramedic arrived. I left the restaurant, my left hand still covered in the owner's blood, and made my way back to the hotel.

All this time my female colleagues were just innocent bystanders, witnessing a terrible act of aggression. I worry that some of them will not take it too well, and ask that they bunk into each others rooms for the night.

I still wonder if it was right to just leave the scene of a crime. More of a concern was whether the owner made it or not. I don't know him at all, yet I wish to find out how he is. I won't be sleeping too well tonight...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My new toys...

#1 way to spend your bonus quickly:
Go on shopping spree.

I like to think that I am in control of my finances most of the time. However when I got me bonus, I went outta control. After keeping aside some savings and a red packet for Mummy dearest, I took to the malls!


Yes, I already have alotta T-shirts in my wardrobe. However I couldn't resist buying some from local designers; Refugees, Instant Karma (they gave me a 10%disc on the basis of me being Shirlyn's bro, very nice), Collage Workshop, Hooked Clothing, all had nice T-shirts that can rival imported ones anytime. I bought light/white coloured ones as I realised I have many black ones.


I saw this pair in Japan while working and took to it almost immediately. Checked it out in Queensway and it was going at a very good price. Tried it one, and it felt just right. Plus it's black, I don't have black sneakers. It's called the Adidas Jabbar Hi.For those younger ones, it's named after Kareem Abdul Jabbar, a great basketball player for the LA Lakers in his time. He also acted in a few movies, think it's Airplane and Game of Death along with Bruce Lee! Now, wouldn't YOU buy a sneaker endorsed by such a great guy?

Next up was my proudest purchase; the New K750i

This mobile phone is da bomb I tell you. I was fiddling with it till late night, going through it's many new features. Dammit this phone can take multi-burst shots! You can see the diff in resolutions from the above 2 photos. My Sis also went to get one too, and my friend redcocoon was swooning over it. Many pics will be coming your way...

Next is the A520 my Sis bought for me. I'm still tinkering with it, and should be joining Canon's digital photography workshop to learn how to take better photos. No sense in just snapping away like a tourist right? Will upload new photos onto Flickr so all can view them.

I also made a trip to Ikea. I tell you that place just is not a place to go when your will is not strong! I was looking for a coffee table, yet spent another $150 on other misc items like shower curtains, ice trays, coat hanger, duvet cover. I like to buy stuff from there, my place is almost like it's plucked out from the Ikea catalogue!
To wind down, I headed down to Wala Wala. I haven't been there since I started Dragon Boat training so I went back 3 nights within the week! I came away very impressed, and got an education about classic metal rock. I'm sure Shirlyn will be more than willing to share with me the files she has on Led Zeppellin, Rush, Black Sabbath, ACDC and some that I may not know of....


My wallet has a big hole in it now....

Friday, July 08, 2005

Failure is Success' Mother....

One'd think that I, like some people out there, have given up on this blogging business. I'm back though, and there a quite a few things to get up to speed with.

The biggest 'excuse' I can find for not blogging is that I've been heavily involed in the dragon boat competition just past a week ago. I could go on and on about it but I think my friend redcocoon's entry should cover it. The team went out for dinner and drinks after that Sunday, and oh, how we wolfed down them crabs and guzzled the beers. More drinks after that at a neighbourhood pub, and I went home pleasantly inebrieted. I did sorta rue the failure to secure a medal, by crying out like a skinny baby in my bed. Not tears-streaming-down kinda cry, but full on loud crying! Felt better after that, took a cold shower and slept like the drunk skinny baby that I am.

We take a break from training for 2 weeks, then it's back to basics training for the Nov event. It's being held at Boat Quay apparently, so this time no excuse for not bringing chilled beer to the race ah...

The annual bonus is in, and I have been whipping out my wallet with gusto. Other than the Canon A520 that my dear Sis gave me as a very much advanced birthday gift(watch out for more pictures soon!), I also went on to buy new computer parts, sneakers, furniture from ikea, and locally designed Tees. Must remember to set aside some for savings and Mum(to buy sweets with :P) before I spend it all. Think I still aiming for the K750i, seen it first hand and I'm in luurve... So, the A520 for experimental amateur photography, and K750i for snapshots good enough to print. WooHoo!!

I went down on Monday night to Wala Wala, to catch up on my drinking whilst listening to good music la. This is the first time I went for Monday's Shirlyn's trio, and a departure from the big sounds that I'm accustomed to. An acoustic set, 3 good(struggling) musicians, 3 guitars, 1 good Monday night. I suspect there were some who innocently popped in for a Monday blues drink, some who were Jack fans, and some, like me, who's never heard Shirlyn play acoustic. I should be there Saturday night again to rock it out with The UnXpected again, before I get back into the groove of training again.

Oh and did I mention my packed roster up till end August? Will have to get ready to pack and unpack quickly for the next few weeks, cuz I have Osaka, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Hong Kong, London trips coming up! Ahh, people like me have all the luck... ...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Digging up Dirt

Another article about flight stewardesses.

This one is apparently a disclosure of a certain Mindy who's been flying with the airline for gawd knows how long. It purportedly paints most stewardesses as gals with eating disorders, chain smokes, dates pilots and pinch company items.

I take a personal umbrage to that! It seems that people working as cabin crew( that includes males as well) are never painted in a good light. How about those who volunteer almost all their days off to the elderly, the intellectually disabled? Then there are those who are training other volunteers to act as ambassadors to the coming IOC delegates? Some are working their way through an MBA, whilst flying around tending to spoilt Singaporeans 40,000 Ft up in the air. I know of many who are very caring parents who bring up their children to be respectful and courteous to others, filial sons/daughters who never fail to bring their parents on holidays using their own money, not to mention those that have the physical attributes to make it as an athlete. Heck, some of them even have to decency to clear their own trays after a meal at fast food restaurants.

Back to Mindy, whom you can read about in TNP Sunday. She says she likes to eat, a lot. Honey, you gotta work off what you put in la. Fine and well if you can wolf down 3 full meals in one sitting, but please, exercise la. For a 24 yr old you still don't realize that exercise and diet is the best way to stay trim? Starve yourself? That's just being plain lazy!

Smoking is still legal here the last time I checked. You don't have to smoke to "click so well" with your colleagues. In fact, if you are a nice person, everyone will click well with you, smoker or not.

Marrying a pilot? You had an abortion once (probably impregnated by a pilot that you seem so smitten with) , had an affair with a married one, and have no qualms with going out with an older guy (most pilots I know average around 35). I'm sorry honey, in their heads you're just another expensive "bicycle".

And please don't tell me all you take off the plane is some cartons of juice. How about cartons of milk, soya bean drink, ice cream, cokes/7-ups, biscuits, cheese, fashion magazines, soft toys meant for children on board that you horde before giving them out? Hey, you like to date pilots, don't they have the dough to shell out a couple of bucks for your juice? Or are they as cheap as you are? In which case, you're not much better off with them than with any average joe, are you?

Just my two cents worth.


Speaking of dirt, when was the last time you thanked the aunty/uncle who cleans up your table when you sit down in the coffeeshop? Or talked to a toilet attendant like he was a human being? Ever wondered if they have been looked down?

I like to sit at my coffeeshop downstairs to read my papers. The atmosphere is buzzing, I have my favourite cup of 'Teh', and if I get bored I just people watch. The cleaners there are polite, and go about their duties with diligence. I like to flash them a smile, say "kam sia/xie xie" whenever they help to clear up the table that I'm seated at.

Imagine the day, if you will, when they declare that all cleaners get a compulsory holiday throughout the island. It just has to be 24hrs, but I suspect that you can already imagine the amount of dirty dishes, litter, and garbage that'll pile up by the mid of the day. Dammit, we'd have a bio-hazard on our hands if not for them cleaners who work in the background.

So next time someone cleans up after your lazy self, at least smile and say," kam sia hor aunty/uncle." la hor?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Holy macaroni(and rice and bread and potatoes),Batman!

Today is the day I start what atheletes call "loading up on carbo". basically it means that I have to eat quite a bit of foods rich in carbohydrates.Which means I'm gonna do what I've not done for a while now; eat 3-4 times a day, and all consisting of rice/noodles/beans/carrots amd some other stuff. I'm stuffed! I hope I still can train properly with such a full meal everyday till the race day. I hear some teams eat up to 8 bowls of rice the night before the race!!

Truthfully I'm glad I joined the team. It's like having your own personal trainer, except there's a few more who's going through the regime with you, sorta like BMT hor? I feel better, my friends say I look slimmer, I fit back into my old pair of pants, and hey, I look good when I'm tanned!

One thing I do miss is knocking back a few beers. I know that we are allowed to drink one or two but I thought with my kind of fitness level I should just go cold turkey right up till race day. Gawd only knows how many drinks I'll be having if we perform well up till the 3rd July.

3 more trainings before race day, body dun fail me now...


Went to watch "Batman Begins" since I had the day off from training. Paid the overpriced $9.50 and settled into my seat of choice. The usual previews were playing. One of them, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", caught my attention.

I never watched the original movie back then, but will be keen to watch this mainly because of 2 names; Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. The two have collaborated on many films, such as; Edward Scissorhands
"Edward Scissorhands"
Ed Wood
"Ed Wood"
Sleepy Hollow
"Sleepy Hollow"

One is as kooky as the other. I'm surprised that Burton never tried to cast Johnny as Batman! BTW Tim has also directed a stop-animation feature "The Nightmare before Christmas", it really is such a treat to watch!

Back to the movie. I think they did well in casting Christian Bale as Batman this time. Some say his acting is wooden, but hey, how expressive can you get from behind that mask eh? The batmobile was a bit over-the-top, but how his batsuit and weapons came about was a good spin. Apparently, in the movie, some pieces of his weaponry were made in Singapore?!! Go figure!

What I did mind was the sound system. I went to Golden Village for this one. the sounds from the movie was pretty muffled, bass not strong, and generally didn't make it a good audio experience. I think that the movie was not played in surround sound. I paid freaking $9.50, I think I should at least get decent sound in the theatre, instead of stereo sound coming from the front of the screen. Dammit I have a better sound system at home than this chain of cinemas! Will need to check out more from other sources.

Next movie to catch; Fantastic 4!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Couch Potatoe

I was at training again today. Same drill of warm-ups, laps around the stadium, then circuit training. We proceeded onwards to the water sports center and got into our boat. More drills were done, I was not too into the rowing today, I could feel it. Maybe it's cuz I was training 2 days in a row, maybe today there were not that many crew rowing(14), maybe I just wasn't feeling up to it. I dunno, but I sure as hell will give it my best come the competition.

Whilst taking a break in the Kallang River we chanced upon the airforce doing their fly-bys and rehearsals for National Day. It was really impressive, seeing the jets fly over you, and the chinook choppers carrying the National flag. It almost made me feel patriotic. I don't think I've ever watched NDP "Live" before, as in at the National Stadium or Padang. I prefer to watch it in the comfort of my home, on my sofa, with a cold beer, for like...10mins, before I switch over to whatever holiday movie they have on that night. Tsk, so bad hor...

Finished dinner and was waiting to watch "Project Superstar" on channel U. I'm not too into idol contests really, but I'm interested to know how far this male contestant Chen Wei Lian will go. I was so sure he wasn't gonna make it into the final 12, but he did. Conspiracy theories abound; to grab ratings, sympathy votes etc, but I really am impressed by his voice. The fact that he is visually disabled means his voice is all the more credible, at least that's how I feel. Tonight though, he didn't fare too well I think. Whichever way, I'm sure somewhere, someone is lining up a deal for him already, such is the predictability of huge contests such as this one.

There's just enough time for me to take a nap, then wake up at around 2:30am later to catch the Confederation Cup. Mexico is already in, so that match is inconsiquential. It's the Brazil v Japan match that I'll keep my eyes peeled open for. To see an Asian country go so far in a match competition such as this, you'd have to watch how they do. Many think the Brazillians will just overwhelm them, but hey as they say, the ball is round. It'll be good to at least see them play their guts out on the field againt a football giant.

Mom's on the way back from London now, after a week or more spent with my Aunt there. Have to set another alarm to reach the airport by 8:00am.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

No title

I was just IM-ing with my friend who's working in Dubai, we chat sporadically when I see her on MSN. She misses being Singaporean, as in using lingos peculiar to our li'l red dot, eg "lah", "nabeh", "minah", "bengs", and such. Hey you know what they say, you can take the Singaporean outta Singapore, but never the other way round? You can spot someone from this island the moment they open their gap.

My Dad is back to guzzling on fizzy drinks by the gallon, and smoking in the house for good measure. Not very wise for someone who had a close shave with stroke, but then again he's not been known to be too wise to begin with. Sis-in-law called up younger Sis to pour out frustrations, who in turn rang me up. I believe in this case, a listening ear is very important, so I paid attention to her. Have to remind myself to give Dad a ring sometime soon..


Just back from running laps around the neighbourhood park. Managed 6 rounds before I did some circuits at the static area. It feels good to be pouring perspiration in the late evening air before dinner. I'm doing this so I can keep up with the fast-paced training that is the dragon boat team, less than 10 days away... It's easy to spot me in the boat, I'm the skinny dark fellow with his tongue hanging out by the end of the race.

They have done up the park/jogging track very nicely. There's a nice big patch green, with an amphitheatre. There's even a sculpture commissioned, of a duck farmer. Apparently the area from Lor Ah Soo up till Hougang Ave 1( 'ol Jalan Hock Chye) used to be for duck/pig farming. There's a single BBQ pit for those of you who are fond of burning food to a crisp over charcoal fire. Really, I should go run some laps more often there.

Yayy... I have reason to watch sports channel again! Tomorrow morning 2:45Am Argentina playing Germany! Unfortunately I have to watch it in silent mode, cuz there's a long term guest (not mine) staying at my place for a long while to come. Now I have to wear a t-shirt whenever she's around, not watch porn on the PC when she's around, and not scratch myself in the nether region too often also. Endure...4 more months I'll be the King of my castle again. Then it's time for a makeover for my flat, then popiah parties, cocktail mixing nights, beer guzzling sessions, and wine opening evenings!! WOOSAHHHHHHHHHH!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Two Gals, Dad and a Computer Place

Well I suppose most or all of you have heard of
sarongpartygirl by now. Yes, she who professes to love
only Caucasian men, very well read and well traveled,
and mature beyond her 19yrs. I won’t write too much
about her blog, it’s easy to google for it. Then
there’s the NewPaper Sunday article whereby another
infamous female blogger(XX) comes out(or did they ask
her for interview too?) to pour fuel on fire by
lambasting about how SPG is trying to get more hits on
her blog. I suspect it’s because XX is threatened by
the close to ga-zillion hits that SPG is getting,
which dwarves hers. XX needs the hits on her inane
blog to keep advertisers happy and continue to pay her
so she can gallivant around town spouting expletives
and take snapshots to post onto her site, making it
‘interesting’. SPG did none of those, yet I suspect
she’ll keep readers going back to her site more often
now, for the right reasons or not. Bottom line, SPG is
a better read than XX. So there!

Is it supposed to be Father’s Day today? I’ve never
been close to my father since my teenage years. I
guess it’s cuz he was always getting into trouble
gambling, owing money to loansharks that my Mum
inevitably has to pay for him, scraping any few
dollars she can by working 2 to 3 jobs at a time. I
got more distant from him over my adult years,
preferring to keep him outta the loop about my life. I
remember when I got my present job, I was not too
frank about how much I brought home for a paycheck
monthly, fearing that he’ll ask me for money to spend
at the gambling tables. My last contact with him was
when he was lying on a hospital bed, from a minor
stroke, not more than 2 or 3 months ago. He looked so
helpless, so unlike the boisterous man that buys
treats for one and all when he wins at the tables but
takes out his frustration by shouting at Mum when he
loses. Yet I couldn’t sit next to him just to hold his
hand and ask how he was. I just stood there, looking
at this old, weak man … …

Went to Sim Lim Square to pick out upgrades for my PC.
Went to the few shops that I was familiar with and
picked out a DVD burner (cuz I’m downloading so many
movies my hard disk is starved of any gigabytes),
wireless keyboard/ mouse (less wires, happier me), and
new casing(midnight black, cool…). I must tell you if
I were any younger I’d spend hours at this place. They
have almost everything a PC hobbyist would need, and
more. LCD monitors, the fastest processors, mp3s of
all shapes and sizes, laptops that are priced so outta
my reach yet so deliciously desirable. Groups of
students huddle together, picking up every other
leaflet they are given to see how many few dollars
they can save, gawking at the latest games and video
cards. Tourists too, trawl this place for bargains
they can bring back home, for it is a well-known fact
that we have the most value for money electronics this
part of the world. Teenagers come with their parents
to convince them to part with hard earn cash so junior
can get the coolest/fastest graphics card to go with
his new MMORPG games. Picked up my black casing and
went on my way to put together my new buys. $300 in 1

I suspect I’ll have to go back again to get my camera,
when my bonus kicks in. I have shopping fever!