Friday, August 31, 2007

Random articles

So was trawling through my usual sources of news.

Came across some disturbing and some inspiring and some interesting stuff to share...

First up..

1) This guy got beaten until he is now a vegetable in Melb's CBD. And his parents are asking for forgiveness and for a lenient sentence for his bashers'. Such compassion, such an ability to forgive...

2) This is an interesting concept, which they should adopt here - love hotels like those in Japan. Where people can just pop in for a nap/quickie/rendezvous etc... fantastic idea, no? I've often wanted a place to pop in for a quick nap in the middle of the day.

3) This piece of shit, tricked his daughters, told them he needed to teach them how to be good wives according to the Scripture, and proceeded to have sex with them. Asshole surely will rot in hell!

4) Apparently, in Taiwan, some 20 people got together for a group orgy. Ok this would have been quite amusing except for the fact that they were over 40 year old. OMG. Gross! Unless they maintain a good body shape.

5) Who has ever travelled and fallen in love with the place? And instead of just being takers n tourists, we wish we could do something for the local community, give back, in a more meaningful way than buying their rattan handicrafts? Well, here's our chance! Have fun while doing good people.

What I would like to do is to climb a volcano and reach the peak at the break of dawn and use the natural heat to boil an egg for breakfast. Or perhaps to go skiing at night. Though I have never skiied and don't intend to do so because I fear speeding downslope out of control.

The quintessential bloke

As usual, being confined to house arrest due to my contagious illness (don't worry non fatal and non lasting side effects), I am left with ample time on my hands to resort to frivolous activities such as surfing the net for interesting and relevant articles. Haha, here below is a list of things men DON'T do. Its hilarious coz I relate to most of them!

1. Use coupons
Sure, we all have visions of old ladies holding up grocery store lines with bunches of coupons, but in reality, this is something men should be doing too. Nearly all big retail outlets offer coupons at some point, and electronics stores, multi-purpose stores (like Target or The Wiz), grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels often serve up unbeatable deals.

Why we don't: Let's be honest here. We don't use coupons because we're too lazy to look for them, and also because we don't want to look cheap. Period.

Why we should: Who wouldn't like to save some money now and again? Considering that the only catch is having to scan the local newspaper or fliers left at our door, it's inconceivable that we should not start doing clipping coupons. And besides, the more you save on things like groceries, the more you can spend on beer and electronics.

(True for me, so true.)

2. Get regular check-ups

We usually visit doctors and dentists as a last resort, when that sprained ankle has swollen to the size of a grapefruit or that toothache can no longer be ignored. But every man should get checked out regularly, if not for STDs or illnesses related to aging (heart and prostate diseases especially), then at least in order to lead an all-around healthy life.

Why we don't: Most men know two things in this area: What we don't know won't hurt us, and most pain can be walked off or put up with.

Why we should: Stupid pride and fear can keep you from spotting and eradicating small problems before they become serious. Besides, hitting on nurses is fun.

(True for me, so true.)

3. Follow a recipe
Cooking in general should be every modern cosmopolitan man's goal, but more importantly, cracking open a cookbook and following a recipe is something every man should be able to do. If not for the impression you can make on women or the simple and tasty meal ideas, then at least to be able to control exactly what you're eating, and how it's prepared.

Why we don't: No matter how good or easy a recipe or cookbook may be, most of us men know that it's much easier to just order food, or get married.

Why we should: Most books are so simple that monkeys could cook up a four-course meal, so there's no reason you can't make every meal at home a winner. This is especially helpful if you're trying to start a new relationship on the right foot, or if you're tying to spice up an older one.

(Ahh not true not true...got no issues here)

4. Maintain your stuff

When is the last time you cleaned the inside of your car? What about the outside? Ironed your shirts lately? And what about those shoes? Shouldn't you get them shined? Exactly. The list of our maintenance failures is never-ending, and while it can be difficult to keep up when we're busy, this is something we really should do.

Why we don't: It's easier to hope these things will start fending for themselves, which is another way of saying that we're lazy and that ironing shirts is about as exciting as watching a game of lawn bowling.

Why we should: If you can't maintain things, why buy them in the first place? Besides, if you care for the things you buy, they'll not only look and perform better, but they'll last longer, too, saving you money in the long run.

(True for me, so true.)

5. Read the instructions/owner's manual If you look around your house for them, you'll discover that the manuals to your electronic devices, car and appliances have probably never been used (that is, if you've even kept them).

Why we don't: Who needs a small multilingual booklet to tell them what to do? And anyway, they're impossible to decipher half the time. Is the use of ancient hieroglyphs really necessary to explain the features of a DVD player?

Why we should: Hooking up your surround sound system properly allows you to watch movies the way they were meant to be watched: loud, and in your face.

(True for me, so true.)

6. Do laundry properly
Most of us have good intentions when it comes to washing our clothes. We want to do it regularly and properly, but we have trouble following the instructions on the label and somehow still end up mixing colors and whites, piling our clean clothes with the dirty ones, and never ironing the items that need it most.

Why we don't: Everyone knows that doing laundry sucks, which is why we often go by the motto, "the faster it's done, the better." This attitude is obviously the main culprit.

Why we should: If your clothes look sloppy, dirty or wrinkled, you will not make your best impression on others, particularly in professional settings.

(True for me, so true.)

7. Engage in foreplay
Women love foreplay, but most men consider it "beating around the bush," literally. It's hard to see why, really. I mean, most of us love lingerie, and we can enjoy teasing, touching, role-playing and licking, but somehow we're still obsessed with just getting things done.

Why we don't: The equipment is there for a reason, so why postpone the inevitable? I mean, how many appetizers can you sample before the main course? This is especially true for those nights when you're tired, and all you want to do is get on with the show.

Why we should: If we indulged in more foreplay and took the time to get our women revved up, the ultimate result would be that much sweeter.

(Out of respect for my girl, I cannot elaborate on this)

8. Throw away old belongings

Every man has a favorite shirt, hat or pair of shoes. These are always difficult to part with -- even if an item doesn't really fit into your grown-up wardrobe, it's easy to believe that "there's still some life left in it." But why do we keep all those old baseball cards? Or the ticket to every single concert we've ever attended? What about those Mad magazine receipts from 1987? These are all examples of old, unnecessary things that we should really learn to just throw away.

Why we don't: When our official biographer turns up, all of our junk will be considered priceless. And what if one day, probably the day after we throw it out, we really need that old copy of TV Guide with Bob Saget on the cover?

Why we should: Most of the useless crap we hoard does little besides collect dust and take up potentially useful space.

(True for me, so true.)

9. Watch less TV
Even if the first thing you want to do when you get home is plop yourself down on the couch and zone out in front of the TV, think of how many other things you could do if you watched less of it. You could, for example, get the exercise you always talk about or even read a book. These might not sound like thrilling alternatives, but really, how many times do you need to watch the West Coast Customs guys install an X-box in the back of a car on Pimp My Ride?

Why we don't: No matter how slim the pickings, most of us have an undying hope that we will find something great on. In fact, no matter how awful, we know that with time, we'll find a game, movie or show worth watching.

Why we should: With so much crappy reality programming these days, watching a lot of television can truly feel wasteful. This is especially true in the summer, when reruns rule the day and warmer weather calls for more outings.

(Ahh I don't watch TV at all so s'all good)

10. Check the expiry dates on food
Are you afraid of opening your fridge door? If so, you're not alone. That awful rotting smell you fear is something common to many men's refrigerators. And while a lot of that has to do with our laziness in clearing out old food, the problem starts earlier. Many of us never bother to check the expiration dates when shopping for products like cheese, milk, juice, and meat.

Why we don't: Because grocery shopping, like doing the laundry, is often a royal pain the ass, we're often speeding through it and unfocused. It also doesn't help that most of us are preoccupied with the idea of picking up women at the supermarket.

Why we should: Staving off food poisoning and salmonella wouldn't hurt anyone. And we might save some money if we didn't have to throw out half the contents of our fridge two days after buying it.

(True for me, so true.)

That is 7 out of 10 that is true. Proudly, I am quite the manly bloke.

Glut Glut

I've got a glut, a plethora of topics to talk about!

Ok. Here's a good joke I came across:

Two accountants were biking through a park when one noticed that the other had a new bike.

"Where did you get such a great bike?"

"Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful young woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, stripped off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

"Good choice," said the other accountant. "The clothes would have probably been a poor fit anyway."

HAhaha...!

Sorry I am confined to house arrest...sick...so need to entertain myself by reading jokes online..what a sad life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Merdeka! Merdeka? Really?

I do not have many recollections of National Day as a little boy. I wish I do. I wasn’t patriotic to any degree, until I went overseas. It was while there that I missed home missed many things Malaysian, and that was when my patriotic consciousness was borne. Coming home, on this celebration of our 50th Year of Independence, I do occasionally feel the desire to fly the flag on my car, in some display of patriotism.

But when I recall the many cases and instances of injustice, unfairness, and how we are made to feel like 2nd class citizens, and blatant corruption, abuse of powers and positions, favouritism, non meritocracy based policies, the urge to fly the flag high and display to the world my patriotism instantly becomes subdued to the point of non existence.

How can we celebrate a nation that encourages the above? Where our purported leaders wave their traditional weapons in the air and bay for Chinese blood? Where we constantly are threatened, live under lies, in perpetual fear of crime, forced to kowtow to alleged masters who created the myth of Tanah Melayu, who unashamedly bestowed the title of orang asli on themselves, who blatantly kick us around while we smile with our beggar hands outstretched, eagerly awaiting and eternally grateful for whatever scraps of leftovers they are kind enough to throw our way instead of feeding to the dogs?

We almost have to be sorry for our existence and be grateful that we are not just swatted away like the latest wave of pestilence.

Like that Chinese boy studying in Taiwan who rapped a satire of us using the National Anthem. I personally found that he had some talent, and creativity. He is merely speaking out about what we all know. Is our government so guilty, so ashamed, and so knowing of the truths of his lyrics, that it needs to moral police us? Is our country so immature and backwards? Malaysians are guilty of believing the shared mirage of “harmony among all races” if we cannot even sing this song. It’s a national lie, the tension always simmering near the surface. We need to skin him alive just to show how wrong he is? Strip him of his citizenship? This whole fiasco smacks to me of a deliberate attempt to divert the public’s attention to something trivial, away from what really matters, such as the recent purchase of Agusta for millions of Euros (we sold it for 1 Euro) and the billion ringgit fuck up that is the Port Klang Free Trade Zone (which we are now trying to blame on a 3rd party).

I still like this country. There are still stirrings of patriotism. But this National Day I am going downtown to Singapore for a quick holiday. And I am not the only one. It really has come to this. On this country’s national day, its citizens are escaping to the country that was kicked out from this country. Left to their own devices a little longer, the fuckpots running this high-potential, resource-rich country will strip it bare, dry, and turn it into yet another has-been.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Withdrawal symptoms

I have to be more professional.

Never have I been like this, ever. Normally, at work, I am a picture of no nonsense, can-do and focus. Normally, that is. But today, I am a quivering mass of jelly. I have to be more professional! I have a job to do.

I can’t seem to focus. Can’t seem to think clearly or concentrate on the work. My mind keeps wandering, and I keep remembering her from certain angles, seeing how her face looks, hearing her voice in my head. Suddenly, while trying to determine the import export quota application quantity for 2008, amidst a host of SAP numbers, as I gingerly compute what the right quantity should be, forcing its way into my head rudely, shoving aside all these important work matters, would be images of her smile, her hair falling down one side of her face, her round shoulders, the blanket wrapped around her up to the chin, the rosy cheeks, the twinkling eyes, the happy look as she spoons food into her mouth, the cute lips. Sigh…

But it's not all physical! There is the closeness one feels when she is nearby, the intoxicating smile, the laughter, the smells, the cute and quirky perspectives of things, the zany sense of humour, the never-to-be-called-bluff-upon character, the gentle attitude, the giving nature...

How…to…work…brother you tell me.

Ooh mushy and disgusting post. For me, this is...Another new! Another first! This has been an era of self discovery.

Kenny's birthday

As I continue moving through the journey of life, and walk through the twisting turning path that is my life, and encounter various experiences, I find that more and more, as I am exposed to newer things, the more I cling on to and want to wallow in older more familiar things.

Does that make sense? Maybe the root cause is wrongly identified or maybe my solution is not that. It’s just that maybe I have come full circle. I find that increasingly, I love to, and enjoy, and want to spend time with my scholar friends. And my scholars are an all male fraternity. It sounds gay and weird, but it’s true.

Very happy to meet up for breakfasts on weekends, banana leaf lunches on weekends, coffee shop lunches during weekdays, and we even like hanging out together just a bunch of guys during weekend nights.

And I realized it’s the same with them! We are all feeling it.

Which led me to wonder, why?

After some slight discussions, we concluded that:

- This is a kind of drawback away from society and life and the pressures, demands, responsibilities that come with being grown up. With each other, we have grown up together since we were kids with squeaky voices and smooth crotches, and we want to go back to and recapture those feelings of carefree-ness.


- Around each other, we can revert back to type, being who we really are and what makes us comfortable. We can burp and stuff our faces until exploding, sit back and rub our bellies, and eat until fingers and face messy. We can tell our same corny jokes. We are just totally comfortable and at ease with all guards let down, no need to be political, to be correct, be this or that or whatever, no need to portray certain impressions, watch our behaviour, push a certain agenda.


- We are sick of other people and their crappy ways, and this extends to girls. Just sick of girls, and all that comes with them. A night of uncomplicated fun with each other is the best. And it comes cheap.

Tonight! Kenny’s birthday celebrations!

Withdrawal symptoms

Sport is in my blood. Rough, physical, mentally engaging contact sports like basketball. Open sea speed kayaking. Minimum Grade 3 white water rafting and/or solo canoeing. Jungle trekking.

Without sport, Alex will completely cease to exist. I like sports, exercise, because of the mental engagement, the element of thriving in competition, the experience of dominating and defeating an opponent, the challenge of pushing yourself to the limits, the sensation of sweating profusely, the healthy warm glow all round that I feel, the exhausted muscles.

When I get sick, I rather go and play sports then sit at home and rot. And I think I haven’t had sports for a while, haven’t sweated or exerted, and that is why I have been feeling rather out of sorts recently.

We live and die with our fav sports teams. When they win, we are elated. When they lose, we get upset for days on end. When watching the ending of a deadlocked thrilling dramatic finale encounter between the team we root for and our blood enemies, do not interrupt. Nothing is more important at that moment.

Currently the professional basketball season is having its break. I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Warm testicles

My back aches.

My head feels less than ideal.

I think I'm falling sick. But I haven't been overworking! I have hardly fallen sick these last 2 years...the last time i was sick was when i went down with severe hayfever in my second last yr of melb...don't remember doing so at all in the last 2 yrs...so what gives?

I think my body cannot take this sudden luxury of late go into work and early go home.

I .. want .. my.. health.. back!!! It is moments like this that you truly realize (1) you are aging (2) you are NOT invincible, young man (3) that health is truly precious and taken for granted n ignored and we just eat n don't exercise until we fall sick and then we realize without health, all the other 101 things we normally do and like doing cannot be done.

Clearly articulate...

I normally think I am an articulate person, able to express concepts, ideas, and issues succinctly. I am able to summarize or reorder complex or complicated explanations into an easily understandable form. However, I realize now that this ability is limited only to those things where there is a fixed answer, a fixed statement, a fact, something scientific, technical and irrefutable.

For example, if you asked me to break down for you how a GDX packer that can pack 500ppm works, from the mechanical to the electrical, how it checks for quality, how it rejects, which are the main shafts and main gears, how to control its speed, how the cams relate to each other, how the air pressure is controlled and utilized, given 5 minutes to organize my thoughts, I can quite confidently proceed to provide you with an explanation that I am sure you can understand the basics of.

But when my emotional state is imbalanced, and I really do want to try explain myself to certain parties, because it’s only fair to them, as they are highly concerned about my welfare, I find myself utterly failing them because of my total inability to express my emotions and emotional state.

Why?

When it comes to abstract and ambiguous things like my emotions, though I sort of know what I am feeling, that final hurdle to join the dots from a mere emotion to verbalized form is clearly very disconnected. It is unfair to those I love and who love me, because I do owe them an expression of my emotional state, but due to my (despite spirited attempts) to articulate these things, I fail. And when I try anyhow, then what does exit my mouth does not actually closely reflect what I do feel so it ends up convoluted so no point anyway.


*PS: I think this post's meandering and utterly directionless style is such apt evidence of the abovementioned phenomenon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I like Citronella

‘This is not a love song…this is not a love song…”

It’s wonderful how sometimes you are introduced to a wonderful song most unexpectedly, in the most obscure of places. Sometimes I find it in dimly lit shops in back alleys selling novelty stuff, sometimes in non mainstream libraries, sometimes in movie soundtracks…

I know I talk about music all the time. We often hear songs that make us want to move. Want to dance. How often have we heard a song that makes us want to move or dance sexily though?

Can imagine it now… dark room lit by a few flickering tea lights casting shadows on the wall… the smell of citronella permeating the air… the feel of oil on my back… the sensation of soft, smooth, warm, supple, long-fingered hands gently applying it… the gentle caress of the tips of one’s hair on my back…

And then gently turning the tables on her… tracing outlines… light touches… gentle kisses…intoxicating scents… lingering sensations… soothing voices…

“This is not a love song… this is not a love song…”

Trust & Faith

My friend was telling me the other day how his girlfriend goes through his phone and checks his messages and calls. And then, another friend was saying how he does that to his girlfriend. Both incidents got me thinking. Well, the underlying reason why the above 2 actions occur is because of a lack of trust.

That’s a fundamental pillar and necessity right there that is lacking in their relationships. Without trust, then really, the relationship is doomed. Trust must be earned right from the start, and once the trust is there, there should be no longer doubts. And until the trust is established, they shouldn’t have gotten together. Coz if you got together before the trust is established, then lets say something happens that violates that trust then you are setting yourself up for failure. So you have to be able to lay all your bets on this person before you can enter a relationship. Now, once you are in, you shouldn’t be holding back anymore.

This brings me to prenuptials. Prenuptials totally spoil and kill off relationships. The trust is gone right there from the start. The moment you accept the possibility of divorce, you accept the probability that she might relieve you of your assets unreasonably then the trust isn’t there.

I guess it is hard for rich people in these trust issues; is she after the money or the man?

But as far as I am concerned, maybe I am na├»ve, but when you enter into a relationship, you should have already thought it over and over properly. Hence, the possibility of a break up should never even exist. It should be a one way street with NO options and possible escape clauses. If you need one, you shouldn’t be embarking on this journey.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ineffiencies

It doesn’t seem to make sense to me how the world works.

If you think about it, essentially, what we are doing is to tell our mid teens, at that age, to think of what they want to work as for the rest of their lives, and gear their entire education towards the achievement of that goal.

So, assuming kids become really self aware and self conscious around 5, they have to use their last 10 years of experience of being kids and being alive in this world, to make a decision on what their profession will be for the next 50 years.

Am I the only one who thinks something is missing somewhere here?

Come on, most of their childhood would be spent climbing trees, playing catch, falling off bikes, peeing in their nappies, spilling food on their bibs, telling lies to avoid school, etc. Hardly the inspirational stuff meant to create someone who can really contribute to mankind.

We end up with people having to pick their future career and specialize in the education of it since that young age, and then, being trapped, they cannot escape (e.g. fear of parents berating them for wasting their $, fear of being too old to change etc). Hence we have a population who are not passionate for their work or who don’t love it, not competent at it, not achieving their potential etc.

People are not happy. While young they might have an artistic flair that if developed properly, would be good enough to make a living from. But that creativity being undeveloped, discouraged, stifled, arrested, and forced to make way for a lifetime of accounting work, we have one very unhappy accountant.

Isn’t that a very inefficient way to harness one’s workforce? By right, the most efficiently harnessed workforce is one where every single one of the working population is engaged in and geared towards a job that they love, are very good at, and helps them achieve their professional capacities. Every resource is maximized towards the focused attainment of that goal. That country will be one that is stretched, and very high achieving, very prosperous, and its citizens very happy.

Of course such hypothetical scenarios cannot exist in real life. But it just highlights that the more we try to address this gap, the more efficient our country can be, and hence the rate of development will be accelerated. Otherwise, we will have economic inefficiencies and social imperfections, leading to midlife crisis, and various other social ailments.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cars & flab

So, I finally managed to fix up my Internet. Now I have access from home again!!! Woo hoo!!! Brilliant. Can foresee the many nights of sin, leisure and fun. However, the performance seems lousier compared to previously...sightly slower n less stable. Nevermind, step by step. First get it up. Then, work on improving it.

OK!

Well, was happily back to my old habits of surfing around. This time, just basic research into cars, of which I'm thinking of getting a new one. And stumbled across a site that spells out what kind of personality you have based on the type of car you choose. This is me, and it is true! - - :

The car: A Honda Accord or other sensible sedan

What the car says about its owner: Someone who drives this practical vehicle is most likely educated and intelligent, Dr. Orbuch says. “This driver probably likes discussing politics and is very well-read and mature,” she explains. “People who drive these kinds of cars don’t take big risks in life, but hey, that mentality has served them well up to now!” What you may find pleasantly surprising is that the driver probably has a lot of savings socked away. “This kind of person has invested his or her money well and may very well be enjoying a cushy lifestyle, but is just smart enough to know that a car is a horrible investment,” she explains. Ultimately, he or she cares about value, not flash.

What the car says about its owner’s love style: Its owner will most enjoy someone who likes to converse about life, Dr. Orbuch suggests. “He or she thinks that support, friendship, and honesty are essential to a good healthy relationship,” she says. Additionally, he or she probably doesn’t mind spending a lot of money on a mate—“especially when it comes to travel, fabulous hotels, and great restaurants,” she says. The thinking is: “I save when I can to splurge when I want.”

On another note,
from observation, I have come to notice that girls usually start gaining weight once they get attached. Judging from my previous relationships (compared to my current relationship, none of which hold a candle to, or are even worth mentioning in the same breath as), and my observations of my friends’ relationships, this usually seems to be the case.

My theory is that as a single girl, a girl has not much need or cause to indulge in a lot of food on a regular basis. She is easily contented, happy to subsist on a diet of simple plain fare at home, low calorie home cooked meals, and an occasional gluttony romp with her friends.

But once she is attached, of course, she would spend a lot of time with the boyfriend right? Now, there are not many activities or experiences that a couple can share. Eating is one of the rare ones. So, a lot of their times, a lot of aspect of this relationship will be based on eating and food. So the guy, being a hungry bugger, will surely go out to eat 3 to 4 times a day, and have supper. And guys being guys would order food with not much veggie, but plenty of meat. And the girl would be following him on his frequent eating trips, adopting his midnight supper habits, partaking in his meal heavy diet, and spend her nights up late with him doing whatever.

When not with her, he continues to go out for sports. What this means in essence is that while he is a guy and can more easily take on and digest the food, and that his sporting lifestyle can help with that, the girl is not having any significant increase in aerobic calorie consuming activities nor is her capacity to take in food increased. Hence she is increasing her calorie intake, stretching her tummy, and her calorie usage is still the same. Coupled with the late nights leading to lower metabolism rates, and the happiness of a relationship which induces her to indulge in her favorite desserts and cakes (now that she can indulge in it since at anytime of the day/night she has someone to drag along to accompany her), and the extra sitting around watching movies…tada! And right there you have a surefire recipe for putting on flesh.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The left behinds

For any couple, naturally, there is a base location from whence their courtship took place, where their sentiments flourished, where they established their relationship, where everything took place, culminating in that area becoming special to them as reminders of them are everywhere.

Now when for whatever reason, one of them leaves that place, even if it’s only a short while, e.g. business trip, or holiday, or whatever, both parties will miss each other, right? So who do you think has it tougher? The one who left or the one left behind?

I stand stoically and resolutely and adamantly behind my argument that the tougher task is faced by the one left behind!!!

Because the one who left, though she would miss the one left behind, and all that hunky dory fish fillet stuff, she would have lots of new things to look forward to or at least occupy her time and attention and energies. For example, if she is on holiday, she would be too busy enjoying her holidays and having fun. If she is on a business trip, she’d be too busy partaking in the business agenda laid out by the company. So that leaves her with not much time to worry about or miss the one left behind.

Now the bugger left behind, without much difference to his daily schedule, has plenty of capacity to dream about and miss the one who left. Then this idiot, who, in the course of his daily travels and life would invariably constantly come across reminders of her (ah this is where we sat! this is where we walked! This is where we fed the pigeons! This is where we suddenly stopped roadside to hug!). And this would make it much tougher for him.

Reminders are everywhere.

I don’t care if you don’t agree. But mark my words! You will see I am right!

The 3 Cs

When in the initial throes of love, we fail to see, or fail to acknowledge, or fail to accept it, when we see discrepancies (with us) or flaws in the ones we love.

Everything is smooth and rosy, and beautiful, and sweet. It’s all hunky dory, and even when we do see discrepancies, we block it out, explain it away, ignore it, or choose to believe that when push comes to shove, somehow, things will be okay. Somehow, things will always work out. Don’t worry our heads now, let’s just live in the moment.

Well, experience is teaching me that it is not okay. This kind of attitude that so closely mirrors ostriches burying their heads in the sand will just lead to a long path of unhappiness and eventual relationship doom. Coming from this current job, there are many things I learnt which are exceedingly useful, even when applied to my normal daily life. Among them is the mindset and mentality.

I now truly believe in the wisdom of doing things correctly right from the very start. There might be initial pains. It would be difficult. There would be a journey of mutual discoveries. At this stage, if we find too many differences to overcome, we should call it quits, no matter how hard it may be, because if we continue this relationship it would be a mistake, as it gets harder and harder to disentangle ourselves despite knowing it’s a mistake. This particular step is missing in a lot of relationships, and I believe is one of the chief reasons why many set themselves up for failure. And why many have failed.

I was asked something the other evening. To paraphrase the question, ‘if I were to write a book on the conditions that must be true in order for a relationship to be able to last forever, what would my 3 main points be?’

First I thought of all the key conditions that must be true. Then I slowly went through the process of elimination. My final 3 answers are:

Firstly - commitment. Without this, everything else is null and void. Commitment means the desire and will and resilience to let no barriers or obstacles stop you from being together. No matter what happens, you want each other, and want each other enough to work through whatever comes your way, make the sacrifices required. Everything else pales in comparison and takes second place. For example, if a person breaks up with someone because of distance, or money, or different family backgrounds, etc, then clearly, she loves him not enough to stick through the distance or go closer to him, clearly she loves the money and material things in life more than his presence in her life etc. Commitment means being with each other despite going through hardships, trials and tribulations, and not being with each other only if not unduly taxed.

Secondly – compatibility. This key ingredient is often overlooked and unanalyzed at the beginning of relationships, and then rears its ugly head later in various manifestations that eventually serve to drive a wedge in the relationship, leading to its demise. Compatibility encompasses many things. Examples include both have similar outlooks in life, approach to life, expectations from life. They both have similar philosophies on how much money is required, and how to spend what they have. The way they quarrel will not lead to bitter fights. What one considers romantic is deemed likewise by the other. You just know it when you have it; not an easy thing to explain. People say opposites attract, must find someone different from you, yin and yang, can keep things interesting. As far as I am concerned, that is a surefire recipe for doom and gloom. If you cannot agree on how to spend your time on a holiday, if you cannot agree on how to spend your weekends, your money, if you cannot quarrel like logical rational sensible adults, if you approach setbacks and obstacles differently, if one party is not selfless enough, etc, then the days of this relationship will be very numbered.

Thirdly – communication. This vital component is often ignored, especially early on in relationships where physical action takes precedence, and hence, contributes to the ignorance of compatibility. Hence, all relationships should slow down regularly, take a step back, and communicate. People change. Over the years, in a relationship, both partners will change. It is important to constantly talk, so both are aware of how the other is changing, and both can influence the other so there is congruence. A lack of communication and understanding will lead to the absence of total trust, non congruence in their character evolution, and eventually, too many differences to overcome.

Notice that all start with C. All good things start with a C!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Shoes glorious shoes

Feet wear, feetgear, shoes. I realize only females, girls, women, ladies, have a fetish with shoes. Guys don't. I've always prided myself on my functionality. Back in Melb, I had probably 3-4 pairs of feetwear - 1 for sports, 1 sandals, 1 sneakers to go out in, and 1 leather one for work. But here in KL, it just hit me that I own about 15 pairs of shoes!!! I picked out a couple (those that were easiest to access and not stored away heh heh) to feature and highlight here. What a womanly and wantonly disgusting habit for a guy. Well, without further ado, here's a sneak peek into the shoe closet of one-who-calls-himself-extremely-un metro/new age. I have absolutely zero regard for the fashion aspect of it and I know I have a crappy sense of one. What determines it is how happy I feel and how appropriate it is when I wear it.


This is 1 of my favourite pairs of shoes. It is made of leather and has a v nice silver buckle in front. When wearing it, I actually feel good, competent, professional, nice, classy etc. Used to be a shoe that I seldom wore (except on v nice occasions), but now, I wear it to work often because I find that the feeling it gives me helps me to perform, especially when dealing with corporate scenery. Probably an unflattering photo. [Windsor Smith, Swanston Street]



This is my other pair of favourite leather shoes. My 2nd pride and joy. When worn with the right clothes and pants, it gives a very nice feel, and I like the way it gives me a finished, polished look. Very elegant, sharp, tapering, long pair of shoes. Love it. The silver buckle in front is a nice touch. [Knight, KL]




I like these flip flop slippers. Got a very nice beach feel to it. Normally worn on holidays or on weekends only, and only during sunny days. Must be paired with beach surfer/board shorts and fitting T shirt (or sleeveless Singha shirt inside and an unbuttoned collared shirt outside), with a bag slung over my shoulder and earphones in my ear. Extreme casual.


Hah! My army camouflage flip flops. Similar to the above, but whereas the above is worn when I am in friendly, congenial mood, this is worn when I feel slightly more solitary, fierce, aggressive, standoffish. Usually paired with my camouflage shorts and a fitting olive green muscle tee.


Ahh...this pair is what my mum calls the lazy man shoes. Its like loafers, but its even lazier than that; you just stick your feet in. Was a b'day present back in 2000 in Melb. Still love it. Perfect for short trips out without much walking required.

Ah ha! My suede sandals! Very well liked but seldom worn. Suede shoes are hard to maintain. Wash em, and they go wrong. Don't wash them, and they dirtify very fast. T'was during a warm sunny summer day back in Melb when I was roaming around Highpoint Shopping Centre when my then shoes fucked up and I purchased this suede sandals.


This is my first pair of leather shoes. Bought cheaply for Aus50 or so, from Target dept store. Required to go to work in. Very lasting and durable. When I came back to KL, I actually went to work in these. Amidst tough environs some more. Theres something to be said for these shoes. They were used when I worked in a restaurant, in Subway, in kitchens, used for job interviews with swanky banks, used in my telemarketing job (which I resigned after 1 day. I hate sales. I hate hard selling. But I absolutely detest cold calling.), used in my EY job, and later, used in my current job back when I was attached to physically demanding environs. Definitely ROI received.


And now this category of shoes is the one where I have the most of. This 1 category alone prolly accounts for 50% of my shoes already. BASKETBALL shoes!!! I have always believed skill is skill, the shoe not so important, except for safety and support. But damn, it's hard to resist a nice pair of balling shoes, y'know?


Mum bought me this pair of Ah Pek sandals. Very versatile, but I seldom wear it except to mamak stalls or late night suppers or when I twisted my ankle and cannot wear shoe (as was the case a few months back).


Sports shoes. Very versatile this kind. But cannot wear with socks. Can wear to go running on the roads, can wear to gym, can wear for bball on outdoor courts (as was the case last night), and can pair it with board shorts, t shirt, and head off for a nice al fresco cuppa on a sunny weekend.


This pair is meant only to go out in. No sports is allowed or I'd damage myself because there is no proper support infrastructure. But for non beach leisure, such as walking around malls, sitting around al fresco, this shoe is perfect, for board shorts, no socks, and a T shirt.


My Reebok DMX shoes, after my icon, Allen Iverson. This shoe started off as being intended to wear exclusively for bball on indoor courts. But due to poor discipline and insufficient bball on indoor courts, and I do like the shoe very much, I decided to wear it when going out as well. Hence it is now a solid staple of my going out shoe, and is no longer a bball shoe.

And this final pair is my safety shoes. Given to me (or rather, I stole it) due to it being a necessity and EHS requirement for some of my work environs, I wear it. When I wear it, I immediately feel very rough house, ruffian, uncouth, uncultured, and I behave in a very neanderthal uncultured unrefined aggressive way. While wearing these shoes, I tend to achieve a lot, but my image suffers. When wearing these shoes, I tend to allow myself to look more and more scruffy. Looks cease to matter.

Hence it is now apparent that I am quite womanly. It is absolutely disgusting. But nevermind, it makes me happy. Next time you see what shoe I wear, you know my mood. Ah ha ha ha.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Have leg... will travel

Undertook lots of travelling this year.

There was KK, KB, numerous trips to Sg, trips to Genting, trips to PD, trip to Phuket, Pangkor etc.

And now the big un ... going to Paris in Sept!

And immediately after coming back... going to Melbourne in Oct!

Wow...going on an overseas trip with girlfriend...spells fun fun and more fun!

Living on a shoestring budget also sounds fun after a while.

And now the sister is trying to make me go Korea or China end of year. Man, I am gonna be so broke that its funny.

Alex..be sensible.

Monday, August 13, 2007

WK, watch your mouth.

Today got wind from an ex colleague regarding some snarky comments about me made by another ex colleague. You got comments, say it to my face. Don't dis your ex colleagues who beat you out fair and scquare. I bet it hurts to know he lost out though he cheated. Well, there is a God after all.

I'm not a good talker. In most cases I believe in using logic rationale and verbal reasoning to settle disputes. But I am also a rough person with not much class or culture. Except with this guy. I'm increasingly tempted to indulge in that aspect of myself and rearranging his face with my fist and just to see how his mouth looks with my fist in it and his lip split and teeth dangling loose.

But I shall be the bigger man. Eagles always fly above crows. Since I have no doubt that I can physically take him out anytime, I shall just avoid him, for fear of beating the pulp out of his juicy ass and then being labelled a bully.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I do

Heard this on the radio. That’s how I would imagine myself.

A man wakes up, super hung over, groggy as hell and feeling like shit. Looks in the mirror. Looks like shit. Vaguely remembers going out with the guys in town and hanging out at the pub with lots of hot chicks and drinking with them and doesn’t remember much more. Looks around the room. Hey the bed is made. Everything looks nice and new and clean. His clothes are neatly folded, ready for him to wear. The toiletries are all prepared. There is a love note stuck on the mirror written by his wife for him. “I love you darling. I made you your fav breakfast, its on the dinner table. And I brought your newspaper for you and made your favourite juice. Now I’m at the grocery store buying the ingredients to cook your fav food for your supper”. So this guy panics and thinks his wife probably suspects him of fooling around last night and is out to get him. He then rushes out and sees his son eating cornflakes and true to her word, his fav breakfast is warm and ready and his newspaper is there too. He feels something isn’t right, and asks his son. Son, where is mummy? The son replies mummy is at the supermarket. The dad asks well, does she seem ok today? The son goes yep, she is in a very good mood, because last night you came home so drunk, and when she tried to undress you for bed, you shoved her away and snapped ‘don’t touch me! I’m a married man now!”

That’s me right there. Married. Lots of my guy friends. Still drinking. Beautiful lovely wife. A SON (I’m a Chinaman). That’s me right there.

Of late, I find myself suddenly thinking a lot about something like… marriage!
I have had enough of relationships that don’t end up anywhere. Whatever the relationship I am now in, or the next one definitely (if it comes to that, hopefully not), is THE one already. I want to marry this girl. I want to wake up next to her every morning, kiss her eyes, and peck her cheek, and smell her hair, and touch her hand to my cheek. And repeat it when we sleep. I want to lock her up, not literally, but as in, take her off the ‘market’ (damn that word) and make her mine and all mine.

I used to be a bit paranoid of this. I mean, like, 1 girl, for the rest of your life? But when you have been floating around as long as I have, and met enough debris, and lived vicariously through others and their mistakes, you have a clear idea of what girl you want/ don’t want. And when you find one that ticks all the right boxes and also stirs you emotionally and also is a good sight to look at, then by golly, be a man and step forward to press your claim.

I think I’m starting to crave that beginning of the ‘rest of my life’, that stability, to be the recipient and giver of 100% unconditional whole hearted love. When you are younger, girls you meet are not mentally settled yet. But girls at this age, especially once they turn 25, are way more assured, settled and stable. And when you find that 1 like that, I think it is worth it to give up my drinking partying lifestyle.

I want to wake, go to work, come home, and have a nice dinner together, wash up, sit back n watch DVDs and trace circles on each others backs, give and receive back rubs, read in bed together, run along the beach with the water lapping around our ankles, go travelling around the world, give and receive little love notes unexpectedly.

And it seems the right age to start thinking of it. I will turn 25 end of this year. Let’s say I target to get married at 28. OK, what does one need to get married? After talking to various people, it seems that the figure, a good figure, would be approx RM50k. That includes everything, photos, honeymoon, dinner, etc, the whole shebang. Now, we aren’t going to get married and then end up with a big fat egg right? Must have some balance left to start us off in life as a married couple right? OK, a comfortable and safe figure would be RM50k. That’s a cool 100 grand. Now, since I already have my condo, and I intend to buy my car in the next year or so, I shan’t factor in these 2.

Now, I am a real Chinaman, and insist on paying 100% of the wedding. But knowing this girl, who has many admirable qualities, she would want to bear some of it. So let’s say we arrive at a compromise where I shoulder 70% of the costs. That means I have approx 3 years to come up with RM70k. That means, once I turn 25, over the next 36 months, I must target an average of RM2k a month of savings.

OK. [Makes some quick and private calculations]. Well, going by my current salary, and the prospects, and the trend… I would think it’s definitely possible. So it’s looking like 28.

OK, no need panic. Life is back on track. Still got a few more months to go haywire and blow my money and have fun. This time I think I’m very sure I can keep my resolutions. Whereby previously I did not have sufficient motivation, and I was doing it coz it was the right thing to do, now it’s got a whole new different feel, focus and objective to it. Hence I think I can go the distance on this one.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Jul/Aug 2007







Some dates, eras, remain significant in your mind long after they have come, gone, or have any reasonable reason to linger on.

End Jul/Aug is a tumultuous time, turbulent, like a rollercoaster ride, with highs so high I could touch the clouds on my magic carpet, and lows so low I felt that I was about to lose everything.

I've always prided myself on my ability to remain in control of myself. Hung my hat on my discipline. Well known for my resiliency and steadfast resolute ability to die die cling to whatever I really set my mind on doing and resisting multiple temptations, I have of late found myself in a situation where I am deviating from how I originally envisioned I would behave. Being in a relationship for ... 7 years ... you really learn a lot. And you know how you should/want to behave in rships. Yet I find myself plunging headlong down an abyss and saying or doing things that are so unlike me. Not me not me its been ages since I lost ctrl like that. Not right! C'mon alex, what the hell, reduced to a babbling weakling like this. Makes me gross and sick and disgusted at my weakness and I know I really should get a grip because I know I can and HAVE, but I trust this girl so so much I don't feel that necessity to hold back. But am I being silly? And you know what? I worry I am gripping the sand too tightly.

Thing is, I can easily hold back, can easily not say a word or demonstrate or display much emotion and remain aloof and watnot. But why play games? I don't like to play games. I want to trust this person and know that its ok. So on a leap of faith I am going out on a limb here.

I am seeing signs of the sand slipping thru the fingers. If it all went away, I would be devastated, but the last 7 years, what it has taught me is that I can stand up again, so thats not too big a problem. But...to know that the pieces don't fit anymore...when you really thought it would...is tough.


Pieces Don't Fit Anymore Lyrics

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ledailah

Music tastes are subjective. Thats my disclaimer.

It seems to me that in this modern era, it is very rare to encounter a classic, enduring, timeless love song. Of course, there ARE some, and there are others that are made special by their associations. Fair enough.

Once upon a time, when I was young-ER, I was of course filled with idealistic dreams. I picked up the guitar, and realized I took to it much faster than others, like a fish to guitar. With a little practice, I had gone further than others who took much longer. Also, perhaps with my up-to-Grade 3 piano training, I had a slight ear for this stuff. And some other reasons. But I harboured dreams of being a professional player. We started our own band, and we had fun, just a few guitars and no drums. It was purely for fun. On the surface. But inside, I always thought, wouldn't it be great, to be a travelling musician, or to be part of a successful band.

We went busking, just a coupla times, and it was great fun.

Eventually of course, the girl of the moment drilled it into me that it would never pay the bills, if I travelled, the distance would be too great for her, and that I was too much of a romantic and I better settle down and get serious with my career.

So I relented. Partly because also I saw the logic of her points. However, I have still always loved the guitar, my guitar, and I remember once upon a time, I hugged it to sleep. It means a lot to me, especially when I decide to play a song on it for someone. Coz then I'm not doing it for myself myself.

Anyhow, suddenly I feel an inspiration to play a song for a certain someone. Thought of this a lil while, but don't know what song to play. Finally, I have found it. But I am very nervous, and my fingers and hands are very shaky, bcause I haven't touched the guitar for .. 3 years or so. So, wish me well.

- - -

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

FOKUS!

While flipping through my photo albums last night, I could see myself having aged. I could see my friends aging as well. Thank god I haven't got a belly, but I see my friends starting to develop them. And the turkey neck. And the lines on the face, ard the eyes. I'm scared! I don't want to grow old, look old. I suppose I will though, and, just like how I typically deal with all the inevitable things coming my way in life, I just hack it and do the best.

But when I look at 30 year olds, and see them looking 30, and weighed down with this n that, and think of em as boring old farts, I wonder, do 20 year olds look upon me, the soon to be 25 year old, with the same comments? I fail to be able to see my 30 year old colleagues having any form of life, or living any other existence except come to work, go home, all long ago abandoned idealistic dreams and hopes and wishes. Where its all bout the realities of working and paying the bills, paying off the car, house etc. Fuck me if I end up like that. I keep thinking when I am 30, I wouldnt be like that, I would be like me now.

I sure as fucking hell wouldnt want to live an existence where I wake early, drag myself to some job I don't like, work like heck, swallow my ego, come home late, ignore the bratty kids, feel depressed at my middle class urban suburban dwellings n existence, with some fat obese wife with a bad temper and curlers in her hair waving a rolling pin and yelling at the dog to get out of the kitchen, block everything out, sit in front of TV with a beer til its time for bed.

But then, to these 30 year olds, wouldnt they have been like me now back when they were 25?

And, would current 20 yr olds see me as that boring geezer who lost his dreams along the way? Did I really lose my dreams along the way and inadvertently joined the corporate rodent race?

Never!I console myself with 'wait til u grow up u brat'.

Argh, aimless verbal diarrhoea again, meandering and wandering directionless in the middle of the work day. Like the karate kid movie...'alex..u must..FOKUS!'

TIME TIME TIME..and a bit of energy

I'm not really sure why so many initiatives that I want to carry out in my personal life has not taken flight.

Is it a lack of will power and discipline, or an inherent laziness and incapability to commit and follow through, or a lack of urgency and necessity, or just the simple explanation that I have v bad time management and way over prioritize work?

If it is the last scenario, which I strongly suspect is the case, then, why is that so? In a way, I do get some measure of self worth and happiness via being competent professionally. It is not only an ego boost, but it makes me feel useful, and the tiredness and sense of achievement at the end of a hard day's work is sometimes worth it. It's like an adrenaline rush, a high that one can get addicted on, when one is perpetually firefighting and watnot. However, I also take pride in making sure whatever is associated to my name is done well. There is a rep to uphold and I do not like disappointing anybody. The best way to go about it is to coach your people and ensure they know how to do the job. That way, you get more time for yourself. What I see my favourite bosses do to me, is what I do to my people as well.

I overproritize work. Thats for sure. But I'd happily give it up if there is someone right here right now for me to share the other things with. So many projects I want to do. I want to learn more songs on the piano. I want to perfect my plaing of Tong Hua, Boston, Life is like a boat. I want to shoot a music video albeit an amateurish 1. I want to write a book. I want to drive to some small outskirts town, and happily listen to music, eat at coffeeshops which haven't altered much in the last few decades, take lots of photos. I want to mountain bike around. I want to take part in more white water rafting, open sea kayakking, rope courses, obstacles course, abseiling, rock climbing, mountain trekking activities. I want to train up for marathons. Argh.

It can be chalked down to bad time management, or even indiscipline.

But really, I guess in another few months, with my new post, I HOPE to be able to get a little bit more free time. In which case I would stick to my original plan of spending wkends indulging in these kinda activities.

Have you ever...

Have you ever tried holding a handful of sand on your palm?

Try it. Now, open your palm completely, as wide as you can. See the sand slipping and falling off the edges of your palm, and in btw your fingers? Eventually theres not much left on your palm proper, is there?

Now. Close your palms and fingers and ball it up into a clenched fist. See, even if grip tight, the damn sand also leaks away right, and eventually you are not holding much sand either.

Any relationship is like the sand. The palm/fist/fingers bit is the way we treat the rship.

Squeeze too tight, you end up with not much left. Don't hold it tight enough, same thing happens.

The trick is when to hold and how tightly to hold. This is where most people get it wrong. Now, if 1 party values that rship more, that party will really have to exercise discipline and control and force his palms to remain open not to go overboard in his display of the depth of his value of that other party. If he senses that the other party is not ready for a tighter fist, he better ctrl himself. This is the tough part.

The above analogy can be used for any rship. It could be btw 2 people in a romantic relationship, or a boss and his subordinate, or a company and its employee, a mother and her child, etc.

It's a bit twisted, innit? Sometimes you might value or treasure a thing too much that you drive it away.