Thursday, November 30, 2006

Work...I'm tired..but i will go on.

[this is a private you, it WOULD be boring...consider urself warned]

Work. Today, this morning, I feel like reexamining my career.

As part of my newfound desire to do the right thing, I have been throwing a lot of myself into my work for the last one year. Again, its not really something I do because 'oh er isnt that what we are supposed to do? i'm just following the masses.." but its more of a "look, i know wats important in life, and i know what i want to get, and i know how to get it, and realistically, if i have to work hard for it, fine, so be it'.

Put it this way. Why do i spend 12 hrs at work, often more? why do i go in when the sky is dark and come out when the sky is dark? why do i sometimes skip meals? why do i put myself thru intense pressure n stress (resulting in severe havoc to the internal health systems)? why do i sacrifice so much of my personal interests?

I alwiz look at end games in mind. if the end game is worth it, the journey there will be tolerated, regardless. just block out emotion. in this case, the end game is:

- OK, want to be able to provide a comfortable life for the family.
- Don't want to have financial worries at all. No need to be wealthy, just please, no financial worries, no quarrels about finances, no wife and children needing to make too many sacrifices.
- Therefore need to have successful career.
- Therefore need to be someone who companies want to hire/keep and willing to pay for.
- To have successful career one must know a lot about what one does, and one must be good at it.
- In order to do that, one has to build up ones knowledge and experience.
- In order to do that, and do it quickly, 1 has to be willing to not take shortcuts, and to work hard, and put in the hours.

In my line, in my position, that is not an option. In fact, we are considered 'future leaders' and upon graduating from the MT programme, will automatically become managers entrusted with a small cell, and henceforth, we are expected to manage that stuff well. The way the programme is done, we are forever fast-tracked so that the spotlight is constantly on us, we have to keep proving ourselves, and we are expected to rise to a senior post around 5 years after we graduate from the MT programme. in return, they will give us a comp. & ben. package thats supposedly among the top in the country.

The way I figure it, this is the best time to learn, and to make mistakes. Once I am no longer an MT, and become a manager, the only way to keep rising is to do a frickin good job and the only way to do that is to ensure I really know my stuff well, I can't be bullshitted, and that I have the people's respect. And those things are stuff that I need to achieve, now, because they will come in handy nxt time.

Of late, it has become clear to me that my senior manager/s thinks rather highly of me. When I sit back and really evaluate things, I feel really really lucky. Things have gone rather smoothly for me, compared to others, and I can't really complain. Again, this would not have happened if i had not done my part. i feel grateful too. hitherto, my manager has really really pushed me hard. he is a reknowned tough guy, a legend in the company who is regarded as a star due to his knowledge and meteoric rise, and the pressure and stress he gave me was crazy. however, recently, he made me present one of my many current projects to the functional director and functional top team. apparently i did v well. after the meeting, in his room in private, he was beaming all over, slapping my back, and saying things along the lines of 'alex u made me v v proud today. u made me v v happy. u vindicated my choice to choose u to train up. u really made me v v proud today, and saved [dept name's] ass.' etc etc.

the acknowledgement really meant a lot.

i think it has probably showed me that what i am doing is the right thing, i am on the right warpath, and kinds of strengthens my resolve to keep performing and delivering.

the only niggling thing in my mind is that...the only reason i have been able to deliver is that i really spend a lot of hours, blood sweat tears on the projects (too bad, not v smart. a much smarter person would prolly have figured out faster/easier ways of doing things). these hours could be better spent indulging in personal hobbies like sports, reading, outdoors activities. which makes it v hard to strike that balance because i have hardly anytime left over for myself.

its scant consolation, but i do believe that there is no short cut to success,and that young men today are taking it far too easy. i see guys my age with no sense of urgency, or hanging out at cybercafes or without drive. i don't know, perhaps they just arent motivated enough. motivation should come from inside - otherwise its not sustainable. if young men today feel that their time is MORE WORTH IT to be spent mucking about..fine, thats their choice. if they think it is worth it, fine. but i feel young men should not waste their time playing playing spending money sleeping in etc etc and then wake up at 26, 28 yrs old, sober up and realize they don't have savings. when you are young, you have no dependents, no family, you should be working hard as hell, build up ur career, ur reputation, ur knowledge, the respect, ur savings, and then, when ur married, around 30, THEN u slow down a bit and spend more time with your wife. by then, you would have had enough savings and stuff to be able to afford to slow down. that is the path i am taking. the trick here is balancing work with self so i don't become too one sided.

i really don't know if im making sense here. and like everyone else, i dont know whether my actions are right or wrong. i just ... have to do it... and see what happens, and hope to live my life such that at 30 i can look back and not have too many regrets.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another serious bout...

Listening to - Wendy Matthews - The Day You Went Away - [Highly recommended. Lyrics]

I realize its 2 30am.
I realize I have to wake in 4 hours time to go to work.
I realize I'm bloody immature to be up instead of asleep.

Can you guess what this post will be about? Take a guess...the answer lies IN the picture below..

But I can't sleep.
I did try. Until the playlist suddenly spewed out an all too familar memory inducing song, that got me all nostalgic and emo. And, try as I might, my mood suddenly changed, and now instead of being sleepy, I'm all charged up, nostalgic and reminiscing about Melbourne. Was it really Melbourne, or is it just that Melbourne signified a time in my life where I was still relatively carefree and devoid of the dreariness of working life and all thats associated with it? I remember when I was there and there was a period of time I just wanted to get the hell outta there and come home. As they say, the grass is alwiz greener on the other side. But I think its a combi of both. I do miss Melbourne, a lot, more than I'd ever care to admit.

I miss being on these trams...

I miss seeing these and if I let my imagination run wild, imagining that it was 100 years ago..

I miss. the. parks. Dreadfully. Felt so good to just sit there with a good book and a discman and people watch.

I was genuinely happy to just run around without a care in the world, wearing pink and nobody making any comments about it.

I miss the old buildings and architecture steeped in history...they do a great job there of making good use of their old buildings. The Melb Town Hall...

Flinders St station! The starting point for so many holidays and outstation trips...your dirty toilets and eccentric people are sorely missed. Wonder if the guy with the bagpipes still plays there...And I remember once, when we were waiting for the train to take us to our exam venue (Showgrounds, Flemington) the announcer suddenly said "Ni hao mah?" in thickly accented Chinese..drawing laughter from everyone and relieving the tension.

This is where I once went to watch a play - Anthony & Cleopatra, if I'm not mistaken. Looks different in the day and the night.

Funny how scenes I haven't seen for.. over a year... when seen through a photograph... is like something soo familiar, as if I just was there a few hours ago. It FEELS like home.

Countless afternoons and evenings strolling along the riverfront..

Spoke to an understanding friend about this, who spent some time in the UK and who is also suffering from withdrawal symptoms. According to her, who spent a year there, it takes up to 3 years to recover more or 'sober up'. I was there for..6 whole years...Don't tell me it would take 18 years to get over it?! Gosh...don't know why I keep thinking about those times, the things I did, places I went, life I led. Is it really that the place was SO good, or just how I mentally associated it with the pre proper grown up life? Guess we shall never know shall we? But what I do know is that I have to control these outbursts of emo. Cannot continue to let this stuff start affecting me only at night just before I sleep, throw me completely off track, and result in me being zombified at work. It's time to know when to unlock the drawers of the past, and when to keep it tightly shut in order to concentrate on the now so as not to interfere with our preparations for the future. Must keep the past in the past and not let it affect the now. Its time to grow up.

Self Inflicted Pain

When I was in school, there was a guy who was self abusive. Sitting beside him was a weird experience because the teacher would be saying something, and it would be hard to concentrate because the guy sitting next to me would be totally self absorbed in his own world scratching himself and his wrists and stuff with a compass.

He would use sharp objects, like the corners of metal rulers, compass, whatnot, to scratch and scrawl on himself, resulting in scabs and little red lines, welts and things.

It was v hard to concentrate in class and not be perversely fascinated and drawn to the self mutilation show going on a few inches from me. Of course, I never let on how I felt, or even that I was secretly fascinated and watching from the corner of my eye. I alwiz thought it would be cool if he accidentally cut his wrist too deep and he suddenly fell to the ground gasping as he held out his hands, palms upwards (ala Spiderman style as he shoots webbing) as the blood shot out in streams with each beat of his heat, to land a few metres away, or even to land on the teacher's face.

Problem was, this guy was super spoilt and pampered at home. He had no reason to act that way. His parents were loving, and loved him a lot. Now, there was this other girl who practiced this form of self decoration as well, but hers was a different case - she was a very, and legitimately so, unhappy child, who had no freedom and happiness, as her parents dominated her life. Anyway, back to my story.

I never could understand these morbid tendencies. Until I engaged in them myself.

You see, I've now got all these welts on my thighs thanks to my recent bout of self mutilation. But I have very good, albeit, stupid, reasons.

I find that my extremely bad habit of indulging in nocturnal activities til v late and then getting only 4 hours of sleep b4 another 12 hour work day is definitely eating into my productivity. My energy levels are bad, everything is bad, its dropping, I plod along...well thats a story for another day. Anyway so I tend to fall asleep or nod off or become v v v sleepy at work. And yesterday, I had to attend a v important meeting with some bigshots.

Normally I am ok. But yesterday's meeting, was boring as hell. And I was struggling to stay awake. Normally, what I do is, I pinch myself to stay awake. I would pinch the softest most tenderest part - i.e. the inside of my thigh. For the most part, it usually works. Yesterday I was so sleepy I think I was practically abusing and killing myself as I feverishly pinched and hacked at myself til I was tearing. I was so desperate I even started to yank at my leg hairs. But STILL I felt... badly.. sleepy and I could feel myself slipping away. I've alwiz feared actually waking up as my head hits the table with a thud, and then only I realized I had fallen asleep. That would be a Career Limiting Move of unbeatable and irreversible proportions.

Anyway thanks to my mildly successful and stupid strategies for staying awake (nxt time just sleep earlier la) I now v unproudly sport a couple of painful welts on my inner thighs. Excellent, excellent.

To make things worse, the other day, I did 1 hour of running on the treadmill (split into 2 sessions), had no warmups, and upped my weight on the Adductor machine from 40 to 50. Ended up, my inner thighs have been burning pain hell for 3 consecutive days and shows no signs of abating. It hurts so bad I might have torn my muscle, and walking is a bitch. Good thing I can sort of disguise it well or else it would seem like I am bowlegged AND have a serious case of piles.

Haih...Aish...Alex, Alex...pls sleep earlier...and its 2 15am...time to..sleep!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Swingers parties

I was reading Reuters news site, when this article came screaming to my attention. It was about Swingers Parties in Singapore [link].

Now, for one, I never knew prudish Singapore tolerated that kind of stuff! For the people aged 35 and below, I could accept that they were all for it, but I would have thought that the conservative Sporean Govt would not have allowed it, for fear of damaging social effects.

I mean, swingers parties are essentially events where couples go to.. swap spouses...for sexual purposes. Can you imagine the .. after effects? Some women might see it as betrayal or see it as temptation or perhaps influencing the husband to start affairs outside. I don't know, I can't think like a woman, that has been made painfully clear to me on many occasions.

But I DO know how a guy would feel. short - quite f * c k e d up. He would forever be thinking damn did she enjoy it more with him than with me? From now on whenever we do these things will she secretly compare us and find me lacking? That kind of stuff...

And how do I know? Weeell, personal guesses aside, I remember when I was back in uni, a close guy friend of mine was asking all of us, what we thought of the idea of watching our gfs having sex with another guy. We were like.. WHAT?! U PERVERT. Then he was like no no...he said HE has a friend, an Aussie or something, who apparently was into this stuff and my friend even claims that theres a whole thriving porn underground industry for these things. The market is like huge.

I couldnt believe it!

So after adamantly refusing to hear anymore and just repeatedly saying "NO NO NO NO WAY GO AWAY MAN WAT THE HELL THATS DAMN TWISTED AND DISTURBING" we eventually calmed down to discuss why we wouldnt be happy about it.. coming up with the abovementioned reasons. Among others.

So this article reminded me of all those things. And 1 more thing.

I remember telling the gf, in a joking sort of way, hey, next time I am down in Singapore, lets go for these Swingers things!

She: What for?
Me: Weeellll....just sit there and look around and see people in action and their spouses' reactions! Would be jolly hilarious and interesting I bet.
She: Hehe.. yes it will...
Me: [joking] Then I can get to try other people's spouses while you sit there and watch.
She: WHAT! So double standard - hhmmm...actually... that might be fun...


I wonder if I could use that as a readymade excuse (But you said its fun! I just was practicing before showing you the main act!) if ever I cheat on her and get caught...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Male Toilet Chronicles

*This post is an extension of the previous...

Many guys after pissing and touching their dicks, DO NOT WASH THEIR HANDS. So people, especially ladies, ALL SURFACES that people can touch? Yep, theres a very real chance that it has been touched by some dirty smelly unhygienic bugger who touched that exact same thing you are touching now after he touched his dick after he pissed. And he didnt wash his hands. Disturbing eh? And this includes lift buttons, elevator handholds, parking ticket AutoPay machines, etc HAHAHA!

Not to be outdone, I decided that since I lost the 'gross' debate, I would try to corner the 'funny' market in terms of the comparison of guys and girls toilets.

I once was in uni back in Melb, in the cubicle, pissing. Then I suddenly heard the main toilet door to the Gents open with a bang, then footsteps BANG BANG BANG rushhhhing in, someone running n breathing heavily, ran to the cubicle besides mine, then i heard the sound of a belt being unfastened, the sound of a zip being undone, trousers being lowered, and about 1 second later I heard the unmistable orchestraic sounds of diarrhoea, the staccato bursts of release of, and the guttural sighs of relief...a few seconds later the unmistakable waft of a certain pungent odor hit my nose, and gagging and half puking, I raced out the toilet.

Remembering conversations I had in my high school Add Maths class (those were the days), I brought them up and soon, we were all in stitches relating our 'personal' or so called 'told to me by a friend' experiences..

At work, I see a lot of men dressing well in nice professional attire, body fitting long sleeved shirts, tucked into tailored pants ending jus above the newly polished shoes, complete with belt to boot, and nicely coiffed hair. However, I have totally lost all awe for them because...the above scenario takes place at my workplace as well...and...somehow, after hearing certain tell tale sequences of sounds, e.g. the movement of the rubber hose followed by the sound of water running and then the sound of water+hand+slapping sound against flesh+like washing+rubbing etc..somehow.. you know behind the facade, behind the fact he is Boss, at the end of the day, we are all just weird gross creatures.

OK people? The following segment is not for the fainthearted, nor is it for general public consumption. If you are built of a weak constitution, for your own sake, do not read on. They include anecdotes from high school boys (me and my friends, many years ago) so you could probably tell its rather crass. If you are an anal person (oops, no pun intended), better stop right ....HERE.

*Sense of Humor Required.

- When the shit coming out is too long, what do you do? Why, you tighten the asshole, to 'break' it off, of course! And then continue to 'push' it out again!

- How do you prevent the shit hitting the water from making the water splash up onto your naked smooth butt cheeks? Why, FIRST you chuck in some toilet paper into the bowl, THEN you unleash your WWII arsenal, so when it hits, it will hit the paper, which acts as padding and absorbers, and nothing splashes back onto ya. Cool!

- Never spend too long from the time your shit has exited to the time you clean your ass coz depends on the amount of moisture in your shit, your diet, the timing, the coldness of the weather etc (further experiments are necessary for conclusive results) your shit will dry up and form a crust around the rim n edges of your asshole making it harder to clean up

- Never squat on a toilet bowl - sometimes they break, and as has happened before, the guy fell onto the cracked china, which cut him up good, and he lay there and bled to death.

- When using urinals guys, keep this in mind. I once saw (while working for a prominent client in KL, one of M'sia's biggest banks) some people of a certain race coming in, and all of them, after they pissed, with one hand holding their cuckoo bird, the second hand kept pressing the flush button, and when the water came out to FLUSH AWAY THEIR PISS, they collected this water with their second hand, washed n rubbed their dicks with this hand, then, TOUCHED THE FLUSH BUTTON AGAIN N PRESSED IT REPEATEDLY and then collect water wash dick again and repeated this for a few seconds..and when he walked away I glanced at the button and it was wet...then the next guy came in and did his business and then used it the proper way i.e. piss, press flush, walk away. Now this is EXTREMELY disturbing because I DO NOT want to TOUCH THAT WET BUTTON which the PREVIOUS USER touched after touching his dick!

- Many guys here, do not wash their hands after touching their dicks.

- A friend of mine, back in my uni days (no he wasnt from Melb Uni), decided to save the cost of buying toilet paper for his home (this bugger is not poor at all, he just likes to cut costs wherever he can. You would think that he is therefore financially sound right? Nooo...he uses the saved money for marijuana haha the bugger!). So what he did was, after classes, as students normally do, they walk into toilets to piss while carrying their bags. So he would enter cubicles and chuck the spare toilet paper rolls into his bag. And walk out and on home with these rolls. Soon, he even started to sell these rolls off cheap! guy la in a way.

- Examples of graffiti in Melb would be:

* Call 0403 234 567 for some one on one gay sex! Call now, and we can meet 10pm tonight.
* Vote Liberals.
* John Howard is a fuckhead. Vote Kim Beazly!

- Examples of graffiti in KL would be:

* Eh ini Ah Moi Cina ini manyak shiok! Mana aweh semua pigi? [followed by drawings of very shapely women with slit eyes to denote that they are Chinese]
* Bob CINTA Minah 2002
* No words, just extremely extremely crude drawings of genitalia and acts of coitus

OK, the yuck factor of this post has gone on too long...haha.. at least I have made myself laugh hysterically in recalling recent and long ago conversations of yore...remember boys and girls..Love and Humor will save us all.

Toilet Chronicles


ok disclaimer done

Was engaged in a lively animated debate with some members of the fairer sex who defiantly claimed that female toilets (public) contain among the most foul examples of human habits. And ended up comparing the toilets of what I used to think were sweet classy clean sophisticated intelligent sexy creatures [I choose to believe they don't fart burp shit {only a gf is allowed to do these} and when they do I tell myself my senses are deceiving me - yes I know I am an idiot that way]..

And I started off trying to paint a picture of my species and gender in a more classy manner...

but the women's toilets gross habits were really winning and in the end I had to haha degenerate the guys' habits in order to stand a chance of winning.

So what transpired?

Ahh...we alwiz thought, that the dramas happened at women's public toilets didnt we? And below are some of their claims to fame:

- Used/soiled sanitary pads floating in bowls and not flushed
- Blood

- Unflushed toilets (with faeces)

- Just plain dirty and smelly
- Long bloody queues (I would agree, judging from the super long lines outside public women toilets, e.g. on the North South highway rest stops, cinemas (Cineleisure in Singapore comes to mind instantly))..

So I countered with what we could reasonably expect at male toilets:

- Cig butts in urinals and toiletbowls (wow, so crude, my English teacher woulda been proud of my command of the language!)
- Scratchy graffiti on toilet walls
- Unflushed toilets with faeces splattered around
- Smell
- People with no 'aiming' prowess

And on that score we decided things tilted a bit to the women's side because they had to contend with more gross stuff, due to 2 factors: blood (and the smell factor, what one v helpful RT described as 'like metal, maybe a bit rusty' - WTF?@#!#) and secondly, long bloody queues.

At this point, knowing I was losing out, I tried to divert the topic to make it more 'educational', trying to explain what urinals were, and how men's toilets were like - extremely functional & no frills:

Lack of privacy not withstanding...

Some do try to provide a modicum of a sense of privacy though...

And 1 for the kids..

Which leaves a lot of room for creativity. The ones at Mid Valley Megamall, they have a Bull head right at the spot where you should be aiming (Bulls Eyes, geddit?)..some replace that with a frog or something that says Shoot Me! or Aim HERE or some such variety...I hate to think what would happen if M'sia went to war..our men can't aim! Me not withstanding, of course, *smug grin*.

Once in a while you get those really creative ones through email:

Of course, these are still OK. The weirdest (and most cost efficient I presume) are these:

Taken in Melbourne

What. Other. Situation. Is. There. Where. 2. COMPLETE STRANGERS. Can. Stand. A. Few. Inches. From. Each. Other. And. Whip. Out. Their. Dong. And. Not. Get. Strange. Looks. Or. Beaten. To. Death?

Just imagine the above photo, filled with guys standing almost shoulder to shoulder, all pissing into the same thing, some with a higher aim (naturally, *smug grin*) and some with a lower aim (its alrite, mate) and their dongs separated by inches. Geez. If THATS not a weird social creation, I don't know what is. Imagine 2 big businessmen sitting in front of a table discussing a major deal facing each other when moments ago their 2 naked dongs were a few inches from each other. And now pretend nothing happened.

One classy and interesting one I've been to is the one at Luna Bar, where you are literally pissing onto what looks like the frickin pane of glass of the window. You can actually see through what you are pissing on, and see the streets below. I presume the glass is a one way pane.

I am actually standing on the spot where I am supposed to piss as I take this pic

Here you get a better idea

Ahh....Needless to say, when RT mentioned that girls also have to contend with the possibility of running into newborn babies with umbilical cord intact in public toilets, I had to concede defeat!

Shameless for Scarlett

OK. I must confess my perverse appreciation for Scarlett Johannson. All of you also got someone or some people whom you appreciate for their beauty and whatnot right?

Just find something about her very pretty. And sweet. And intelligent. And funny. Which all adds up

In 'Scoop' (with Woody Allen and Hugh Jackman) she had the whole journalist look going as could Hugh Jackman control himself in that pool scene!? If it was me I'd have to look away all the time or get caught admiring and blushing. No way I could have done that scene. Haha maybe if my entire below-neck body remained under the water. Very good self restraint Hugh...wonder if he was thinking of his 80 year old neighbour as a self control technique..

And in 'The Island', she played her character so well...just made me want to step out and say HERE WOMAN DONT YOU WORRY LET ME PROTECT YOU, FOLLOW ME! And then wrap my arms around her. I think it is called 'the need to protect' or something that our incestuous Sigmund Freud dreamed up..

In 'The Prestige', the moment I knew Hugh was insane was when [caution, spoiler ahead] he sent away Scarlett to Christian Bale. Definitely gone-case.

I think in The must have been love..because...they were programmed to not have desire and *those* kinda emotions at whatever they felt must have been pure n untainted..

If she smiled like this while saying 'sign over a blank cheque', I JUST might be hypnotized enough to do so..

So fierce. each man, his own.

Peace, Alex

Friday, November 24, 2006

Becoming jaded...

First off. Big props to JC for introducing me to...Lasse Lindh - C'mon Through . It's been keeping me up the whole night! I love it.

Lasse Lindh
C'Mon Through

it ain't so easy to love you true, account of all the rattlesnakes and all that makes you blue
but it's worth it, i love the thrill
come, come, come
c'mon through, c'mon you, come dig right into my heart
what is the body if not a place where you store all anger and happiness and pain
but it's worth it, i love the thrill
come, come, come
c'mon through, c'mon you, come dig right into my heart inspired me to, after like, a year, finally pick up my guitar again, and inspite of it having just 5 strings, trying to figure out the chords at 2 45am, in spite of me having to face the Director and his cohorts tomorrow in a top level meeting.

Please play the song! Its really good. Haha..

Had dinner with the Boss and his cohorts today. Boss is getting married next month. He was basically telling us:

Who cares whether or not you marry the woman you love, or if you love who you marry. Just marry a woman who loves you more, who you can control, who is willing to bend back for you and not cause too much trouble. When the s*x becomes not so good, just go and f**k outside. You wake up, work, go home, sit there, she is following you around, muttering grumbling nagging complaining whining and you just switch on the telly, sit there and eat in silence while she goes on and on, ignore her, and then, you go and take your shower, and then you sleep.

I am sorry, but I so do not agree!

I just feel really sad for him. What on earth must have happened to him to make him feel so jaded? Why like that? What kind of life is that? Why would you want a woman like that? You want a girl who is independent, who has her own mind, has her own character, who is able to think for herself, who is an individual, who carries herself with self respect, etc. Not a simple dumb 'yes husband' kind of woman. Ew. You want a spunky spirited gal, with character. Someone that after a long day of work you can come home to, and just relax and chill with them, and perhaps, when you are more energetic, have some meaningful, intelligent discussions.

How can some people become so jaded? Is this the 21st century social dilemma?

Really you want to go home and do that? Is that what life is about to you? Thats kind of sad isn't it? And then especially, messing about outside. What if you contract STD?

A wife is to love, hold, cuddle, share your moments with, understands you, etc. Not just yes sir no sir may I sit down sit do you want me to bend over sir. Aish..might as well go and marry a sheep.

I admit, I am not so idealistic and dreamy anymore, but I still yearn and hope to meet someone special to share stuff with. Feel like telling him don't get married la, that poor girl, will be in for a shock.

Hope when I am 30 I will not be like that, but will be happily married...

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Why do you work hard?

After the recent spate of yet another round of late nights, stressful days, demanding hard driving boss, missed dinners, missed gym sessions, nights of reaching home late and ... spending the rest of the night alone, woffling about...

I had to ask myself again. Why am I doing all this? Many people live a far more fulfilling life. Why not me?

Y'know, why do some people work hard? Afraid to lose their jobs, so must deliver assigned tasks, and in order to complete these tasks, must spend more time because it is time consuming? Because they love their jobs and do it for the sake of doing? Because...they don't know why, they just do? I had to really ask myself that question. Because if I cannot find a good enough reason, I don't see why I should sacrifice my time, my youth, working day and night, arriving at work at about sunrise, and leaving work way way after the sun has set.

Youth can never be bought back, ever. You will never be 23 yrs, 6 months and 5 days old again. You can be 23 yrs, 6 months, and 6 days old, but never 5 days old again. Each day is unique. Each day passes us by, never to be accessed again. In time to come I shall look back on my 23rd and maybe 24th year.. and see that.. in the prime of life...I spent my time...working.

B4 I go on, I must add a disclaimer. I know that lots of you work super hard too, and working Friday evenings and 12 hour days are the norm. Thats fine. Thats your situation. I am just pondering mine.

So I wonder..OK, say I throw in normal regular 9 hour working days. Then what would I REALLY do with that extra time? Would it REALLY be spent constructively or improving my quality of life? I could play my totally ignored guitar again. Play basketball again. Read, as I so would love to. If not, why not invest that time in something? So I regard this time at work as an investment, an investment in myself, and that I guess helps. A wise colleague once said, treat the job as you investing in yourself, not working for the company. Everything you do and learn, goes to improving your own stock. Think of it that way.

And thats true. That helps.

Actually, a lot of people have told me - take the easy way out friend. Why not work for my mum, since she has her own business and if it can give me and my siblings the lifestyle we have been given, its got to be pretty good. Hmm...thats a thought. But no, I want to be a self made man, I do not want to rely on the mother. I want to go out and make something of myself. Eventually, when I have gained enough experience outside, hey, I can always return there. But truth be told, I have other reasons why I want to work hard, and am focussed on delivering the result asked of me. And I am not sure if they are good reasons, but they jolly well are MY reasons. And when I remind myself of it day in day out, I guess it can keep me going. And at times like these, when I have basically given up a major portion of my life, and only think of work and how to deliver results, day in and day out, even when showering, in the toilet, or when I wake at night for the toilet. So let me list it down, to remind myself again. Self-motivation is a virtuous trait.

1) Fear of not being smart/productive/useful enough to be hired, and therefore, fear of not having a decent job that pays decent wages. Fear of not being able to afford a comfortable lifestyle. Extravagance is unnecessary. Just a nice condo, kids with good education, wife has no need to worry about money, we can have a yearly holiday with some in between getaways, health no issues, food to eat, and some leftover for minor pleasures of life. And, I don't need to be the highest paid among my friends and relatives - I just don't want to be the lowest paid.

2) Don't want to have money issues in marriage. I always believe that men, if they really loved their wives, would try to give them a happy marriage that has no money worries. I really hate it when couples quarrel over money, really realllly hate it, REALLY R E A L L Y hate it. It so totally taints and spoils everything. And if you love her so, you refuse to give her anything but the best. You want to take her on holidays. You want to afford a nice kitchen for her. You don't want her to go out, see something she REALLY likes, and then, walking away from it coz you cannot afford it. You don't want to have to eat in all the time coz you are on a tight budget. No way Jose. Thats why, now that we are young and not attached, we should get out there, stop wasting time in cybercafes and watnot, and really, devote our time and attention to improving ourselves so that we are in a position to command a comfortable and decent salary so as to make the girl feel secure. The important thing here is to remind myself, how much is too much, where to draw the line.

OK. I have listed them down. Now with my newfound reminders to myself, I shall head out into the world, brave it, and see what I can do to reduce the NT Wastage at B1 complex while keeping volume the same. Tata good folks.


Listening to...Credence Clearwater Revival - Have you ever seen the rain?

Someone told me long ago theres a calm before the storm, I know; its been comin for some time. When its over, so they say, itll rain a sunny day, I know; shinin down like water. Chorus: I want to know, have you ever seen the rain? I want to know, have you ever seen the rain Comin down on a sunny day? Yesterday, and days before, sun is cold and rain is hard, I know; been that way for all my time. til forever, on it goes through the circle, fast and slow, I know; it cant stop, I wonder. Chorus Yeah! Chorus

Last night after work I went for dinner at Jake's. It wasn't my first time, but last time I was there, they played some blues tunes, which was fine. Last night, was an album of cover versions. Hmm...I was happily listening to the conversation at the table while humming the tunes in my head, and then they started up Have you Ever Seen the I don't know who sang their cover version, but as far as I am concerned, my favourite is Credence Clearwater Revival's version. To me, theirs is easily the best. Very nice.

Well, under normal circumstances, people who have heard this might go well whats the big deal? Just that when the song brought back a lot of reminded me so strongly of the time when I went to Cairns for a holiday. Because I had it, among others, playing on my discman the whole time. It was just after my graduation in 2004 (goodness, 2 years already! I was just bloody 22 then!) and I was so looking forward to going to a sunny place for a holiday..and Cairns promised, and turned out to be, all that and so much more.

It was awesome, as I got to live sort of the backpacker lifestyle, sharing rooms with other people, living in backpacker territory, mingling with backpackers, and living sort of on a shoe string budget (not really discipline..this also want, that also want..). We met a suspected gay Brit couple, a Captain Piccard lookalike, Koreans, Japanese, Europeans, Americans... I just got a little pensive..shall share below some of the Cairns photos...

Now listening to..Rod Stewart - Sailing

Taken with underwater camera at the Great Barrier Reef: Corals!

Taken with underwater camera at the Great Barrier Reef: 2 SCUBA divers way beneath me

On board our clipper boat..taken @ sunset, this is the platform we use to enter the water

The same platform during the, look at the vast blue ocean

Our gear on board the clipper..ship front

Climbing to the top @ Lighthouse Point, highest point of Fitzroy Island

Sunset, off Fitzroy Island

Looking down from the top of Lighthouse Point...feels like Coral Island (Ballantyne) already!

View on the hike up to Light house Point..just like a LOTR scene! Had to take

The blue lagoon

Imagining Coral Island again

Cairns ..beachfront. That girl walking by IS really just coincidence

Soaking in the sun, feeling it on my back after months of the Melb winter

The best Japanese restaurant in Cairns

Aish..I want back my holidays!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Grow up lad.


What is it?

Of late, it is an oft pondered question with me.

As Reka Ruki says (and I'm blatantly plagiarising without consent here buts its OK don't worry she will find out soon enough and if she tries to retaliate, hey, I know where she lives):

A life steeped in obedience and goodness is a life I will never know. Quarter of a century old and non the wiser nor maturer…I wonder when I will actually become good. Like sustainably-long-lastingly-till-the-end-of-eternity-and-beyond good. Not coz-i’m-in-a-fanciful-gee-i’d-like-to-be-good-for-a-change sort.

Disciplinary issues haunt yet again. Its like I can never get it right even with the best of intent!!

(Full Post)

There are so many yardsticks and criteria for what constitutes maturity, and maturity in 1 department may not be maturity in another. Aish so difficult. I try. As I have recently turned 24, I have to now enact the pledges I pledged to myself, that when I turn 24, I. will. grow. up. But like Ruki says, yep, I'm haunted by discipline issues. Of course, we are indisciplined in different ways. But she is right.. we have the best intent..but..somehow.. the execution is flawed.

It takes self control.

Ruki is so right ... when will I become good.. like good:

- because I want to do certain things due to their being the right thing to do and I actually WANT to do it and derive pleasure knowing I'm doing the right thing and I can effortlessly do this right (albeit shitty though at that point I will not view it as shitty of course) thing without any issues

and not merely doing good coz

- its the right thing to do so i will do it even though i dont really believe in it and i hate doing it and i cant bring myself to do it but since its right to do i will do.

Well both will give you the same outcome in the short term. So, is maturity jus DOING what is right, in spite of whether one actually happily does it?

Because from the above examples, I still have a lot of things in the second category...and thats not long term sustainable. The aim is to move all of our time/money/emotional/attitude to work mismanagement issues to the first category. Then we can find true happiness and achieve enlightenment along the Path of The Five Fold Way. haha...

There is a third category.. which is.. I know I shudn't do this... but.. screw it... I will and let nature take care of itself. Prime example: Blogging at 1 15am on a work day tomorrow where I have to wake at 7am.

Haih... I have too many things in category 2 and 3 to render me mature. Now that I'm 24.. I want to move it all to Category 1..hope I can be successful... so my outlook changes to such that I will happily and willingly move these things into Category 1. Without having to try soo hard to do something right just coz I know its what I'm supposed to do. Maybe true maturity is doing the right thing effortlessly, without needing to feel like u have to try. And this 'Category' business sounds like a porn industry classification system!

Hmm... think I lost a number of you back there!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Incestuous Colleagues

I don't get it.

Wouldn't they feel awkward next day?!

Last night, was the company annual dinner. After that we proceeded to Velvet. And then, I saw my colleagues touching feeling each other up and down, dirty dancing and the likes.


OK, the girls look good. I give them that, granted, and, nobody would believe me if I said otherwise so mights well just get it out.

But I found it weird that the colleagues could .. do all that.. and then.. go back to work in a professional setting nxt wk and face each other and be all normal.

This guy from HR... was soo professional when he hired me...he had my respect. But now that we've been out a few times and his true self has opinion of him has changed drastically. Just goes to show how one should never judge based on first second or even third impressions. And news spreads fast as well.. once a sleazebag..alwiz stuck with that label..

. . . . . . .

Incestuous colleagues aside...have just got to say that in the entire night, the last 1 hour was the best part..when I disappeared from the bunch of sweaty roving bodies n hands and ran off to the mainroom..thank god for H, G, KT and the can any1 dance to RnB? please!

btw i mean for guys ok. girls, i totally understand (and dig it as well).

but c'mon guys.. standing there...not doing much.. not moving much..shake 1 arm here... shake 1 leg there... and, for some others, cop a feel here...cop a feel feel la wei

but with trance...u can just stand/sit there n ENJOY THE MUSIC..the BEAT...the pattern ok.. got timing...cannot simply stand there shake a bit like RnB...its dynamic.. its fast.. its aggressive.. its physical.. its violent...u get swinging elbows and an odd kick...step step step.. whole body gets worked up.. ur in ur own world..u express woteva...can jus retreat to ur own lil corner.. hide there..and .. do ur thing...with the BASS. now thats real dancing - the rest are just wannabes.

. . . . . . . . . .

TechnoAhBengFreak-The Reawakening - Dedication to Trance

Christopher Lawrence.


DEEP STRONG POWERFUL THUMPS THAT invades your every fibre and forces its way into your head and expands til there is nothing else in existence.

Space to move.

Lights. The blinking flashing rapid on/off white lights that is perfect for the robot dance.

Colorful strobes.

Happy people.

Strangers smiling laughing hugging.

A good tune.

Since Ruums changed management (ew yuck to their new programmes) some time ago, life has not been the same.

Instead of my occassional sojournes there to feel alive, now I find myself (on rare occasions) being restless and yearning for something to make me get THAT feeling again. THAT feeling is something indescribable, something very magic.

THAT feeling:

- Can only be gotten from the adrenaline and rush I feel when I'm out there,
- Trance/harddance/good techno (please, no soundtracks infused with a bass).

There is something indescribably fucking fun when you have had:

- A few (preferably more) drinks
- Ciggies (Dunhill Buttons for me only please),
- Deep deep solid bass pounding in my ears
- The vibrations from the speakers on my skin, the sweat, the heat, the adrenaline running through my body, and I just move move move...just have to move.. the music does not allow you to stay still.
- Music is like a persistent friend, it cajoles coaxes caresses and finally pulls u off your comfortable spot right smack onto the floor and before you know it your hands and legs have taken on a life of its own.

. . . . . . .

It all started a long time ago...Aish...I miss those pure times...the togetherness one feels when raving. Nobody gives a shit if u can dance/rave. Of course if you can dance well you get cheers but if you don't no issue! Ppl wore all sorts of different phats as a means of self expression and outlet of creativity, not like towards the end where it was see who has the most expensive/trying to one up each other. Aih...DOME...those dance til 7am emerge staggering into the sunlight don't even realize toes are cracked, skin under feet is like shredded, shoes also more or less destroyed, and feet aching and sometimes got blood... and u never realize all this til the music stops. Admittedly I never went much...but the times I did.. were great. Strangers hugging, laughing, welcoming, dancing together, unlike now where its about attn hogging grabbing the limelight n trying to one up each other. Shudder. Mostly, I went commercial, like QBH, Sirens etc...but it was still fun.

But then..haha...time to 'grow up' and 'focus on studies' [yea right]...haha...took a hiatus. Til I discovered Ruums. But now its gone.

THEN. Last night. After the company annual dinner... off we went to Velvet...dunno...of late I really really cant stand RnB anymore...RnB was so...I don't know.. 'last time', for lack of a better word. Its only good if you want to feel up girls. Really. Which I am so not into. I go clubbing to CLUB. Not to pick up girls or get cheap thrills. Too much pride for that. So.. midway into the night... received SMS from H and gang at zouk mainroom...woot! Glanced at my colleagues standing around me in various states of sleaziness and fun...didnt want to interrupt anyone... RAN off to zouk..and...had the best time I have had in a v berry long time!

Trance and Techno - May we always worship at the altar of your bass.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cynicism, suspicion & wariness

You are a smart boy. You are a very clever fucker. Very intelligent. Stop pretending lah. We all know you are pretending to be a pig so you can trap the tiger. You little are damn smart I know, just from the things you ask and say, we all also know. But you always pretend don't know, we are also not sure if you are testing us. If you are not a MT {my position at work} who might end up becoming my boss, I would have screwed you off a long time ago.

Welcome to much of my working world. The above are true words spoken by people below me in rank, and above me in rank as well.

As this post's title suggests, this post is not sweetly sweet, expounding on the virtues and positive aspects of the human psyche. Instead, it shall focus on the above 3 characteristics, but instead of extolling on how it comes into play in relationships etc, I want to talk about how it affects me at work.

You know, at work, I try to be humble. I really don't think I know much. There is a lot I want to/need to know, and to know this, I have to ask questions right? And even if I know, there is no need to strut around like a proud peacock right? I try to be humble, respectful and fair in my approach. And what I talk about/ask, is genuinely to fill up the gap in knowledge of certain things I think I should know, work wise. I never test people.

So I hate it that this good natured ness has been taken by others as me pretending to be a pig to trap the tiger. Come on, do I seem so low witted to you, to do something like that, and yet, make it so blatant that even you realize it? Gosh...

People nowdays are soo cynical, suspicious and wary. When a young man comes in, asks good questions, tries to be humble while amassing information, it is seen as negative. People actually expect you to exhibit negative characteristics. Good characteristics are seen as smoke and mirrors.

Maybe its my spiky hairstyle, and non conforming looks. It makes them think I am such and such a person, as has been told to me in confidence before. People cannot have spiky hair AND be nice is it? Perhaps what I should do, is, shut up, act arrogant, strut a bit, be more bullish, cut my hair super short to conform, tuck in my shirt all the time, wear the pants to my chest, and then, people will say, "what an unfake! i love it!"

You are a self marketer - don't deny it

Isn't it great when we can relax among our friends and not give 2 hoots, and just throw on slippers, my RM10 for 3 faded color Ultraman T shirt and board shorts and head to the mamak.

You are a shameless self marketer. If you deny this, you are also a pathological liar.

Someone once said (Scott Adams, author of Dilbert) that everytime we get dressed, we are doing some marketing. Marketing ourselves.

Come to think of it, thats true.

I mean, if the SOLE reason for dressing is to retain modesty, then no need to have fitting rooms. Just walk into a store, first top you see, grab it. In the morning, open cupboard, first top you see, wear it. Why do we mix and match patterns, colors, why do we check for size, fitting, etc? To see how we look in it. Why? To see if we look nice. Why? Coz we want to look nice. No need to be attention grabbing, outstanding, whatever. Just, at least, nice, decent, well presented. Why? Coz we want others to see us as not THIS and more of THAT. And at other times, we dress differently. Coz we want to be seen as SOMETHING ELSE and not SOMETHING ELSE. Why does it matter how we want to be seen? Coz we want to project this image so people associate certain idealogues to us. Now, if we wanted people to think we were casual and not particularly vain and stuff, we would wear clothes that shows we didn't spend the whole day and RM800 to get on.

So all this presenting of a certain imagery to generate certain associations to us IS essentially part of what Marketing 101 teaches us. Thats why we dress a certain way for interviews.

*Note: In your next resume, please remember to add in there as well under experience: Brand Marketing Manager - I control the branding for a very important person. I handle the person's appearance, the different impressions he has to give to different people to suit his own multifaceted persona and the person's acceptable boundaries, the way he walks, talks, eats, dresses, the messages he sends in public, etc. The results are plain - this person is now a {your position} in {your company}, is quite successful, and is doing well. Recently, this person managed to clinch..yada yada.

So, in essence, we are all Marketing ourselves.

Girl, so you think you dress well?

We've all seen ppl like that before - they think they dress well, or look good, when in fact, we don't really think so. Well, if they feel comfortable with what they are wearing, if they like it and thats good enough for them regardless of others' opinions, well and good.

But lets not talk about such saintly people shall we?

Lets focus purely on the aesthetics alone. Now, before I proceed with a diatribe against all and sundry, let me firstly add a disclaimer to this post:

The author of this article actually has really bad fashion sense, no taste at all whatsoever as many will no doubt testify to, so whatever he says please take it with a pinch of salt. For all you budding fashionistas out there, go on, do ur thang, and ignore whatever I say if it does not sit well with you. Its just a personal opinion but its not personal.
OK First order of business for the day: capri pants.

Why do some girls get in into their heads that capri pants are nice? A few mates of mine totally think that capri pants soo do not maketh a woman look good. Ok, granted, maybe they are comfortable - hell, like heck I would know. But the point is, capri pants does nothing for your body shape aesthetically...its hard to find a good pair...and a loose pair does not display your no doubt abundant assets in a just way. To illustrate my point I have actually been 'boh liao' enough to search for examples. By the way, this point also extends to long shorts. Shorts should be around half thigh length (and shorter heh). A few inches longer is fine but please for gods sake don't go close to the knee or else it is like wearing a guy's shorts and how often do you see a curvy guy in shorts?!

See! figure lai dat...v hard to find a good fitting that ends calf length yet fits the bum and legs

See again! So 'flat' and 'straight' like men's slacks.. we (ME) want curves!

Secondly: Cowlnecks. At one stage in Melbourne, they were alll THE rage...(I should know, I bought quite a few myself.....for the girlfriend...relax)..See, cowlnecks look real classy and nice...IF mixed/matched and worn appropriately...the whatever-you-wear-inside has got to be tasteful, or else, keep your cowlneck high.

Nice jeans too...

What you wear inside, if you got a low cowlneck, better not be a turtleneck or something high up of that variety...but the worse cowlneck sin I have encountered is a too big neck...thats really looks like you have a realllly big head which you had to force into your cowlneck top, which resulted in the neck being maximum stretched.

Aiyo...doesn't she have honest friends...

Third: Jeans. Now, as the girlfriend has repeatedly drilled into me, its the JEANS, silly.

Me: "Hey, that girl has great legs.."
Her: "Its the JEANS, silly"

Me: "Hey..that girl got a very nice bum.."
Her: "Its the JEANS, silly"

Me: "Hey...she got very nice curves right?"
Her: "Its the JEANS, silly"

Granted, if you tried to fit something ugly into a pair of jeans, it's not gonna be transformed into something hot. I totally think it's the legs and bum themselves as well... I mean, come on, you've GOT to have SOME quality, so when you put on nice pair of jeans, hey presto, now you look even better. So, I always argue that yep the jeans enhances/improves etc, but the legs and bum in the first place must have hit minimum quality acceptance levels. So when I push for this, occasionally the girlfriend will agree...

Her: "Eh, quickly check out that girl across the road..standing under that sign"
Me: "Where?..Oh..yes, quite hot. See the arch on her back? I love that arch..the small of the waist...makes the bum look nice..right or not?"
Her: "Yah..not bad [oggling]"
Me: " come so many people wear those kind of jeans but I don't see those kind of backs around... I think she must have a reaallly good figure underneath it [trying not to oggle, be polite la]"
Her: "I guess so...but also, its the JEANS, silly"

Hmmm....OK, personally, if you have a kinda large-ish waist, please don't wear those ultra low slung hipsters...its no visual orgy to be exposed to a roll (or two) of fat peeking at me...this is a reaallly common sight in Melbourne...and they do it with those midriff baring tops. If you got a realllly small ass and watnot, don't go and wear jeans that are too big. Jeans, should be fitting. They don't need to be tights. Just fitting.

Nice...just fitting. *Thanks to model*

Next: I am going to combine 2 things in one. Top. When going for a simple top, a simple shirt that is fitting, displays the waist, is good enough. No need to be fancy, no need to be revealing, no need to be short. And, fit it with a miniskirt. A miniskirt IS ALWAYS CORRECT. MINISKIRTS NEVER GO WRONG. Ever.

Nice..simple fitting top with a miniskirt, always a killer combo *Thanks to model*

Another example of a simple top with thigh length shorts...(A smiley face for annonymity reasons..)

You know what else not to do? Wearing a shirt that is way too tight when you should try to lose some gut. For health reasons as well. [Fitness experts say hip-waist ratio is much more accurate in determining health compared to BMI]. Never ever (unless pregnant) wear something that makes your stomach protrude more than your bosom.

Hmm...and rock hard looking breasts? Definitely no.

Hmm...another thing. Some decolletage is fine. Just a subtle hint is great. No need to overdo it. Overkill is not appetising.

Lastly. When girls wear those nicely slung hipsters? Soemtimes they put those (not belts) bits of cloth or tassels (like the Magic Carpet) or something that comes out over the ass..? THATS real nice.

And with that, let me sign off this post with the appropriate anti-flaming disclaimer. At the end of the day, who cares what shallow idiots like me think? If you like what you wear, if you feel nice, etc etc, go ahead, make yourself happy. There will always be idiots anyway. Prolly like me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Music = Time Travel Device

"The Blowers Daughter"

And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her sky

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

And so it is
Just like you said it should be
We'll both forget the breeze
Most of the time
And so it is
The colder water
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial

Damien Rice

One of my fav is from the OST to "Closer" (a brilliant movie, with Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Jude Law)

Isn't it funny how our mood would be THIS one moment, and completely sway over to THAT in just one instant, and all it takes to achieve this dramatic swing, would be a song?

You'd be happily whistling and whatnot and then a certain song, which carries with it certain memories, would start playing, and next thing you know, you are feeling kind of emotional, you don't feel like singing anymore, and your head is flooded with associated memories of a different time and place, and, it is as if you are seeing the actors in your memories like you are watching them on a black and white silent projector all alone in ur dark basement. And it is funny that while the person you are watching being projected (yourself) seems happy and laughing in there, the same person now watching it (you) are feeling sad instead.

Life is funny like that sometimes. Fate likes to play tricks on us.

I was dropping off someone after work today, and was happily going on my way home, when the CD in the car switched tracks...instantly, my cheerfulness vanished, and nostalgia took over, big time. Perhaps it was the combination of the rain pelting down against the window, the darkening sky and the contrast against the headlights of cars caught in the jam in the rain...

There I was, just coming off work, caught in a rain and jam, sitting in the car, but my mind was far away...

Its a combination, I guess, of the lyrics, the music, and most of all, the place/time/person you were with when you first heard that song...

{Note to self:}

Braces?! Or no braces?!'ve got great teeth. Really, it is very good. The teeth are all there, none are senget, everything is in its proper position and alignment, no holes, no cavities, no plaque buildup. But, there are some gaps between your teeth . Nothing extraordinary or bad, but, in case you want your smile to look better, you might want to consider doing braces.

So, the good dentist told me that the other day when I decided to go and get some dental work done (it's time).

Hmm....a 24 years old guy wearing braces? I already look kinda young, but with my braces, work uniform, I could pass for a high school kid albeit a slightly more mature looking one.

Can you imagine, going for job interviews wearing braces?
In my current capacity, managing a troop of people up to 30 years older than I, while wearing braces?
Presenting to the top management board, wearing braces?
Going out to meet girls, wearing braces?
Trying to make out, wearing braces?

This is a tough dilemma! No, a 24 year old guy with braces just won't cut the cheese. So, the options are:

a) Seem more respectable without braces, deal with consequences eventually
b) Suffer the indignity (behind the back giggles laughs pointed fingers stained reputation) for one year, then, have good teeth rest of life.

F#$@....what kind of a choice is that!?