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.