Sunday, December 31, 2006

Don’t Look Back

Well, here we are at the cusp of 2007.

Making resolutions is a chore, keeping to them my Achilles’ heel.

I’d like to try to look back on 2006 and see how much mileage I’ve clocked and reflect on the smooth flights, and the turbulent times too.

Socially, I’m doing more good than bad. Yes, I’ve made some stupid mistakes and cost myself a few friends along the way. Perhaps words like “sorry” or “forgive me” might have done the trick, yet I found it hard to utter those words. I miss watching their little ones grow up. Did I really want those friends back bad enough, or was I too ashamed to face them again? On the other hand I’ve also gained some new ones through a common passion for competition, for music, for Arsenal.

I’ve flown for over 10 years, yet just begun to travel the last 2. I’ve watched a live match at Highbury between Arsenal and Spurs, paying through my nose for the coveted ticket that day. I’ve gone to Old Trafford, and while admiring its long history, taken a dig at it too. My sometime hobby of photo taking has seen me walk familiar paths, but with a keener eye. A footprint, children playing in the park, trees waving in the wind, mundane stuff becoming the focus of my digital library.

Perhaps it’s the age, but I’m watching more current affairs now. The World Wide Web is a big resource and differing views can be found within a few clicks. Satirical sites give me some respite from the cruel realities of any given day. Am I still apathetic when it comes to politics?

I’ve been in 2 adrenaline pumping races, and came away with a medal. It feels good to be competing, alongside comrades at work. Setting targets is easy; attaining them is a long hard drive. I find that I do not have the aptitude to last that long, and have surrendered many times. Yet time and again I kick myself for not trying harder.

I’ve experienced first hand the ins and outs of a relationship. There is joy and anger; the laughter and tears; the shouting and the soothing. I’ve seen couples grow apart, yet saw more that came together. Lessons to be learnt? Or is each case peculiar in itself?

Have I learnt from 2006?

Will I be better in 2007?

Walan eh...

I was already not having a good day yesterday. Wanted to head down to Wala Wala to drown my sorrows but decided to watch a movie instead at Cathay Cineleisure. It's been a while since I went out on a Sat night to town and the place was teeming with plenty of eye candy to suit all taste.

Watching a movie by oneself has it's advantages; you can sit anywhere you like, and getting a ticket using the self help kiosk is much faster thanks to the reduced permutations in decision making due to my solo outing.

The movie was heart-warming. Will Ferrell stars in Stranger Than Fiction. It's not a barrel of laughs and, like I said, one feels warm and fuzzy towards the end of the movie.

I ambled towards Hotel Elizabeth after the movie and sat down to watch the weekend matches with Steve-O and friend. Turnout was good despite Arsenal kicking off late. In between snide remarks at other teams I got some advice on choosing my future laptop(Mac or PC). Well wishes were passed around the group in anticipation of the new year. Seems like most of the group weren't planning to party too wildly.

Match report? I can't find the words to describe the defeat to a much lesser team, and have to ask that you peruse SGGooner's, who linked to Siren's, match report.

Apologies if this entry seem dry as a twig.

I feel that I will snap anytime soon.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Last burst..

2007 is almost upon us. Some are making new year resolutions, while others are yet to meet those they made for 2006.

Arsenal will play their last match for 2006, visiting Sheffield United. No disrespect to Sheffield, but I think we can end the year on a winning note. I've gotten used to the Gunners getting scrappy wins against the smaller teams now, all I care now is 3 points. They can shoot from the halfway line, or scramble the ball in at the goal line, even have the other team score an own goal for us, it doesn't matter. 3 points is all I want to see added to the table.

While in Karachi, I was fortunate enough to catch Arsenal play away against Watford. SGGooner called in to the show and revealed his mystery identity to many fans of his blog (20k, and counting leh). The Singapore Grove was open that night, and from what I read it had a good turn out. Some of us are quietly hoping that it would be open again on Saturday when we visit Sheffield United. Perhaps have an early countdown before the rest of the mad mad world does.

How, Mr Blog, eh sai bo??


Liz Pub is open so the guys will be there to ring in the eve of the eve of 2007!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Reporting from Cyber Grove

Last home game at Emirates before going into 2007. The next 2 are away matches. Blackburn are no pushovers this team at 6th of the table. In fact there are a few in the team who actually enjoy pushing other players over, players like Robbie Savage.

Thanks to modern technology I was able to watch the match as it happened. Tried to play commentator on various forum and blogs. Couldn't concentrate, so decided to try my hand at a match report.

3rd min
Toure gives away a penalty to give Blackburn the shock lead. At this point I've only walked in from me kitchen.

10th min
Arsenal quickly regroup and earns a corner. RvP's corner converted by Captain Gilberto's header to level the match at 1-1. Game on!

23rd min
Hleb "walks" the ball into Blackburn's goal! Really, he does!

26th min
RvP is tripped on the way to goal and earns a penalty, Ade steps up, converts to make it 3!

36th min
Hleb finds himself one on one with the goalie and should've shot instead of passing, suddenly this guy is goal shy again??

Half time
Arsenal goes to the locker room 3-1. Most exciting 1st half by Arsenal at Emirates this season, in my view. Can they hold on to lead or will Rovers claw their way back?

2nd half
Arsenal need to be on their toes for up to 50min. Toure best patrol the last line well.

53rd min
Cesc effort deflected off Lucas Neill's leg, ball rolls away from goal. Arsenal using attack as defence now. Good policy.

56th min
Cesc too wary of being offside, should've just blasted into goal instead of watching the linesman.

57th min
RvP can't cut the ball back properly from goal line ... can only imagine how it could've turned out

59th min
RvP tries a "Drogba" from outside the box... ball flies over the bar.

60th min
Oooo Rosicky's effort from Ade's cut back bounces off the bar!

Arsenal wanna win big, really bombarding Brad Friedal's net now.

64th min
Still Gunners go at it as soon as Rovers make substitution. At this point the Gunners are overplaying it just outside of the box I feel.

68th min
Rovers header bounces off bar, rebound scrambled in by Nonda. Arsenal makes usual mistake again at the back after leading a match.

71st min
Flamini in for . Arsenal seems to be stepping off the pedal, could be doing more harm than good.

79 min
Pederson's ball across face of Lehmann's goal fails to be connected by any players in Blue n White. Heng ah...

81st min.
Lehmann does well to push shot away from Pederson for a corner. Arsenal now trying to wind the clock down... not good idea. I still prefer them to go forward, at least with Ade at the front.

85th min
RvP does his twist and turns in front of goal to shoot into lower left corner. 4-2! I like this twisting and turning, maybe we can call it the "RvP special"?

88th min!
The trio of Ade, Cesc and RvP conjures up a 5th goal!! Nice execution beginning from our own half... Baptista and Walcott then come on. Arsenal still not satisfied with 5-2. I feel can pack up and go liao but...

92nd min
Cesc shoots hard at Brad, who parries away into the path of Flamini, who scores the 6th! Oh... my... freakin..gawd!!!

Full time
6-2 to the Gunners! Against an opposition like Blackburn it's a fantastic scoreline to wind down 2006 at home.

They're so good today, I'm gonna watch them during the repeat again!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ce.....lebrate good times, come on!

I actually wasn't keen on organizing a X'mas party this year. The fact that I had to fly to Karachi on the 25th didn't exactly give me anything to cheer about. I thought about it for a while more though, and decided that I needed a lift before I fly to Pakistan.

I've done gatherings at my place before, and it's nice to have friends from different social circles come together; colleagues, buddies, Gooners. So I'll make sure that there's enough food, alcohol, other beverages plus entertainment to keep them happy. I prepared all the food the last few times, but this year decided that it should be a BYO/pot-luck party. Trouble is I may end up with more than 1 log cake, and.. who needs more than 1 log cake at a X'mas party eh? After many SMSes, I figured I have a decent size party that's gonna go on at my humble home.

Next, I got down to dusting up the place. Actually it should be more like overhauling the place. Furniture is being shifted around, the floor is getting a once over (k, maybe twice) , the mini bar is shaping up well too. Cleaning's a biatch I tell ya, yet in a strange way, therapeutic too. Plans are afoot to organise a few games to get the guests more involved.

So do swing by on your way to other parties, I won't hold ya back but I sure will try hard to kick start your Christmas celebrations.

And a Ho Ho Ho to you too :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Meeting of 2 hearts..and minds

Most weddings I attend don't occur during the weekday. Most weddings I attend don't have their old school military band providing the music, with guests taking turns to jam.

Yet on a wet evening on the 13th, I was aurally pleasured when I stepped into the banquet hall. The dinner of Adrian (Liverpool supporter) and Sharon (Gooner) was interesting, with the St. Patrick's School band doing their seniors proud by playing some nice ditties throughout dinner. Of course the seniors took their turns during dinner too. Sorry for lack of photos...Ahtiong too busy drinking!

Congratulations Adrian and Sharon.

Anyhoo... came back and went to bed so can wake up for late match with Arsenal playing away at Wigan. Sent out sms to remind all Gooners too. Guess what? Sharon was staying up to watch it too! I can imagine some very naughty things that should go on after a wedding dinner, but watching Arsenal play?? That's a Gooner for ya.

By the way, great pass by Cesc to Ade who scored for Arsenal to get an away win.

Hell hath no fury...

Never, ever marry a woman in Singapore if you dunno what's in it for you. Recently a paper reported that a lady wanted almost half of what the man has, plus exclusive right toTHEIR daughters. Even though she's done almost nothing all the time she was married to him! She's taking the Women's Charter in Singapore too far I think, heck even the judge thinks so too.

The way women are built genetically, then influenced as they grow up, it's no wonder men have a hard time grasping them. Indulge them too much, they take advantage of your kindness; yet try to leave them be, all hell breaks lose!!

Like shopping. They almost, always buys another pair of shoes or a dress that you won't be able to tell from the previous one. Yet when presented with said new purchase, you'd have to grin and say," ya, nice..."

Which brings me to another point. Do women do all this shopping and preening for their self worth? Some tell me they do all this to get their man's attention. I say: Just stop buying so many dang things and start cleaning around the house, that'll get my attention!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blowing hot & cold

The nature of my job requires that I travel to countries that experience the seasons different times of the year. Most of us moan about the weather in Singapore, but sometimes things are not that fantastic overseas either. Classic case of viewing the grass as greener on the other side.

Like this month. One moment my teeth is chattering from the cold in Zurich, next I will be baking in the sun in Melbourne. X'mas? I'm in Pakistan! Paki-freaking-stan!

So thank your lucky stars that you can move around freely in light clothing this holiday season.

I'm gonna go take off my jacket, then my sweater, then my T-shirt, then another T-shirt...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cyber Grove

Most times I'd prefer to watch the Arsenal matches at Hotel Elizabeth's Elizabeth Pub, we like to call it The Liz. There I can order yummy chicken wings, delicious calamari, tasty pizzas and drink copious amounts of alcohol. I also get to swear loudly in Hokkien, and wear funny headress. Generally good clean fun with fellow Gooners la.

There will be times, however, that we have to watch the games in quiet comfort of our own homes. Though SG Gooner sometimes open up the SG Grove, more often than not I watch in on my teeny CRT TV with the volume down low, so as not to distrub the neighbour.

Recently, I watched the Fulham match online with a p2p software. I also stayed on SG Gooner's blog to communicate thru the CBox with other fellow Gooners watching the feed. It's a case of switching windows, refreshing the pages, keying in our 7% worth. Very technical.

Tonight we are consigned to our own homes again for the match against Porto FC. I feel we should go out for a win to top the group, and not leave it to matematics to advance. Remember that the ball is round, anything can happen.

With the lack of a laptop, and my CRT TV being so miniscule; I will only post me comments during halftime.

Like I said, very the technical you know...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Count to 10...

The time has come, the shops are pulling out all the stops to get people to open their wallets. With news of a re-surging economy, larger bonuses, increased pay for the new year; it's no wonder many are seeking more than a therapy at the malls. Heck, they are going for the whole package! I read in the Sunday Times that some average Joe's, such as you and me, are willing to splurge $7000 to travel in business class for a holiday to Hong Kong!

I indulge in some shopping myself from time to time. Usually it's something I take a fancy to on my travels. My most expensive buy when I started working was a video camera. I'd used my Bro's supplementary card, and they called him back to inform him about a "suspicious" transaction amounting to over $1000. They've since got used to my foreign transactions.

I am more conservative in my spending now, I hope. Therefore I cringe when others just walk in any shops and decide to pick up a few items as if they were groceries. There's only so many pieces of clothing a person needs.

I read somewhere that some people practise counting to 10 before they decide to pay for their purchase. I think it's a good tip, the money saved can always go to something else; a fund for a holiday, a ticket to a musical/play to feed the mind, even charity if one so chooses.

I will admit that I do lust after a few items;

  • The new PS3
  • HD Plasma TV
  • A kick-ass Laptop
  • Heading to Ibiza for a week of hedonism
Okay, maybe I should count to like, 1000 instead...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

3rd time's a charm :)

I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Go to SG Gooner if you want all the juicy details of the night we whacked the Spuds!

The Happy Gooners ;)


Half time, 2-Nil


72min31sec 3-Nil

ARS (15)

Full time, 3-Nil to the Arsenal!!


Party Time@Timbre

ARS (17)

Having a Ball :~)

Good night out for all Singapore Gooners! Next up, FC Porto.

Come on Arsenal!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

3 wise men... ok maybe 2

This is it. The London Derby any Gooner would flock to see, and as far as I know 2 Gooners from li'l Singapore will be there too in the thick of it all.

It's Arsenal v Spuds. Any true blue Gooner has to hate the Spuds. After being there myself last season, and seeing Arsenal edge them out in a climatic, conspiracy-laden end of season matches, I am raring to go down to Liz tonight.

Forget the Bolton match, put the Fulham game away too. This is, to a certain extent, personal. Wenger v Jol. The "Cannon" pointing at the "Lan Jiao". This time it's a new team facing each other altogether. The team will be doing without Henry, among a host of players out due to injuries or suspensions. I'm looking forward to see Julio Baptista start, for a change. Theo? I still feel he's useful in the last 20-30 minutes of the match with his pace.

Adding to the red hot encounter is the man in the middle. If the website is correct, Mr. Graham 'that'll-teach-Chel$ki-a-lesson' Poll will be the one with the whistle. I can imagine the colourful language the managers, players and the fans have prepared for this fella.

I am sure glad to be in town for this encounter, else I was gonna be cursing under my breathe 40, 000 feet in the air all the way back from GuangZhou!

Better bring my camera, Liz will be in full regalia tonight, with fans all togged up for it!

Come on Arsenal!!