Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Pursuit of HappyNess

What a month. Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Work, Family, all packed in 28 days.

February is ending. Today is my 4th blog post this month. Havent been able to write lately. Its a hectic month. I have had very bad news slammed right at my face this month, there were also some rather good news. Life keeps on moving for me. Its been a tough year in 06. I am embracing yet another year that will be filled with many challenges, test of guts, patience, and determination. People like us are fighters, we are not the societies elite, we owe ourselves a living, sometimes a mere rice bowl. But I am determined to make my life a better one than it already is right now. Its been a good 32 years so far. Every year I looked back after the Chinese New Year, it is always a better year. For I am a year wiser, a year smarter, albeit an inch wider. But thats ok, my jeans were always bought 2 sizes up.

No, thats not really ok. I am suppose to be image concious!

As I munched away my cheezels while enaging this "drag-myself-to-type" blog post, I didnt even feel the slightest guilt in me. I am getting on in age, and I am growing fat, I bet half of me was made up of oil and fab. But its weird, I am getting less bothered year after year. Geez.. what the fuck happened..

Anyway, today isnt about self conciousness. Today is about the closure of the month, a meaningful month, to me, at least. Nothing really changes as I march right into the month of March, but a step closer to all my goals set out in front of me, no less.

But my wife May is not feeling too well lately, and I am to take care of her in the couple of weeks ahead. She is the most important part of my life, and I have realised work should never be in front of your love ones.

The pursue of success is never an ending road, but at least it is clear cut. The pursue of happiness is a winding road, sacrifices has to be made, material needs forgo. It is neverthless something I will choose no matter how.

Til the next post. Take good care of your health all.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Post Hidden Agenda - I met a Corporate dick this week (Part One)

Both my wife and me are not in the pink of health lately. And things are generally not going well. But having the support from each other will tide us through, after all we have braved many, many, many storms in the past, I am sure nothing will ever deter us.

I am not a very mushy person and I don't have a fetish for Korean dramas or Bak Young Jun, but whatever I have written above is a reflection of my true feelings right now, no less. In times like these, I don't have to spell out anymore how much I appreciate my wife. Like I said, I am sure things will end up well for us.

I just want to write something happy today, but I feel compelled to let my feelings out at least in written form right now before I go on. And writing blog posts have given me freedom and a space to put my thoughts, at the same time settle some of my emotional struggles.

The week started with Steve coming back from China, a few meetings, and inclusion of a Valentine's day, plus closure of the week being our to be had company outing tomorrow.

Lets start with Steve coming back. Unfortunately I wasnt able to meet up with this dog friend of mine earlier, again due to work committments. This is bloody so fuckin' unfair. For the sake of making sure the projects are on schedule, leisure time is always secondary. However we still managed to meet twice this week with May in the picture. I am not a refine man, nor am I a diplomatic hypocrite "Mr Goody Suck Your Boss Dick" type fucked up asshole that I have brushed shouders with. I can frankly say I am as crude as freshly dug up crude oil from Kuwait. So when we exchange "Chee Byes", and "Nah Behs" over the phone before meeting up, my day was already brightened up. Yup, no hyprocracy, we swear like there may be no tomorrow, and we are racist pigs. But today's topic isnt about racism or an online "swearing" tutorial. (Though I did ever seriously consider the potential of the 'tutorial project'.)

Today is about writing something happy, which leads to writing about Valentine's day. Which I will write about tomorrow. Bloody stupid right? A happy blog post to be written today will be written tomorrow. But fucking hell, its 2.27am in the morning right now and I seriously need a fucking sleep. So fucking Turban scumbags and bastards, lets look forward to tomorrow. Oh, pardon my coarseness in my language, at least I am not a hypocrite prick.

Have a good night.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

One Lawyer, One Property Agent, One Accountant, One Banker, One Designer and His Wife

Dinners are great platforms to get together. You'll never get tired of the varieties of cuisine offered in Singapore. So you'll get multiples of dinner gatherings. Some dinners are enjoyed together with your heart felt friends, some are social dinners. As I sulked my way behind the driving wheel to cuppage plaza for a dinner planned 1 month head, my mind was already planning on "exit strategies". Not the IPOs or equity buy over type of exit strategies mind you, but the "I got to go back to office slog my ass over the night because the bloody miserable 50 cent job we secured requires my 110% attention because those lazy client bastards are the bitchiest and most demanding assholes you will never imagine ever served" kind of exit strategies.

Lame, really.

But nobody really ever cared and it usually worked.

Alright, I admit. I can be anti-social at times. But the unpromising prospect of deploying two construction type cranes to pull up my inverted mouth in order to forge my best smile for more than two hours can be rather devastating.

I usually enjoy a get-together once in a while, but my engine is simply not moving today. What happened? The unsympathetic workload along with many business lunches and hand shakes that was bestowed on me lately all the more call for a need to have a quiet evening. Alas, it was never meant to be.

Sitting at the dining table, there were six of us. Please refer to the Post Title. Remember I am not very motivated today...

The Lawyer is a fine man, he is forever kind, and he is always nice. The property agent is the lawyer's missus and she is bubbly like her hubby. The accountant is lame like his banker madame. Oh, fuck the rhime and poetry thingy already, it is really getting shitty.

I was actually just plain bored and unmotivated. And when you are bored you become mentally drifted. You drool when you try to force open your mouth, and you start to recite every single poetry and ABC you ever learned in from Sesame Street in your mind, just to simply pass the time.

In all fairness, the company was actually a great bunch of people, including the accountant and his banker wife. I was just being bitchy mostly because I couldn't make most sense of their coversation topics. (Plus I really am not in the mood for entertainment today, it really was just me this evening.)

However, professionals seem to have a lingo of their own when they speak. Sometimes I almost felt like an alien. Wrapped in a rugged long sleeve jersey and rugged jeans, I felt almost unattached from their long sleeve shirts and pants. We must have been 20 years old apart. I was just kidding of course. Credit should be given to my wife who buys me facial care to make sure I look 2 years younger from my 60 year old look. In reality, we are only a few years apart.

But my childish-like nature as a designer does have some contrasting differences from my lawyer and accountant friends. This will always stay true, in the wide spectrum of topics we talked about, I can't help but feel slightly deviated and at times, left out. The case would never have happened with my closer friends or my other designer friends. I may be wrong, it might even be my anti-social personality, but this feeling have strucked me more than once. I was immediately more at ease when striking a chord with my near counterparts.

And as I munched away my yakitori , it is left to my wife to save the day. She is a very natural communicator and have always managed to break the ices. I can't help but admired my wife. She is as versatile as a play doh and most amazingly she is able to bear my stupid nonsense all these years.

Lastly, I want to say that I was just downright tired and moody today. I had a great meal, in the company of some very nice people. I just hope I will have enough rest over the weekend and turn out a chirpier man to start the Chinese New Year.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Chinatown Visit at Night

"Lu guo jing guo, bu yao chua guo!!" (translation: Walk by pass by, do not miss by, or rather do not don't buy)

"You mai you song, duo mai duo song!" (translation: Got buy got give, buy more give more)

I got the feeling I have been time-transported to Tang Dynasty China where Famous Poets once resides.

Across the other candy stall, another golden haired uncle shouts, "AR LAI LAI LAI!!", "Zuo Guo You Guo, wan wan bu yao chua guo!!" (translation: Pass by left, Pass by right, You definitely do not want to let the opportunity simply pass by)

"Why do you think they tatoo chinese 'ang kong' writings all over their body", my wife reacted spontaneously as she laughed out.

That put a smile on my face. I recalled my 'hokkien peng' days, where some of my army buddies have tatoos of chinese writings, dragons and leopards painted all over their body. Exactly what you would expect from a page of a Chinese historic book found in the National Library, except the content is not printed on paper but on human skin. I used to mock at my army friends that they are poets because the tattoed Chinese text (usually on their thighs) are layout in vertical lines similar to that of Chinese novels.

As we squeezed through mosque street, we see stalls and more stalls, most of them selling Chinese New Year cookies, sweets, decorations and what not, mostly imported from China. Chinatown gets decorated and packed with people from all walks of life every time during this part of the year. As we look forward to the Chinese New Year come February 18, most Singaporeans would be shopping for 'nian huo' and preparing for spring cleaning. And visiting Chinatown is almost an essential part of our local culture.

"Xiao jie. Taiwan 'Mua Chi'. Original zen zong wan. Eat already gou li gou li"

As my misses is being dragged to one of the stalls by one JB ah beng, the opposite stall is swarmed packed with more people because of some prick medicorp artistes turning up, jamming up the already jammed up aisle. I must admit I took one kay poh look together with my misses, contributing to the traffic congestion, and behaving like some sua ku idiots.

Kudos should be given to people like us who contributed to the fat wallets of the Lao Beng Uncles and Lao Lian Hua Aunties manning the stalls. Because we really spent ourselves silly. Can you imagine buying $36 worth of candies in just one single stall? Such is our contribution to the economy in this region of Singapore. Adding on, we also contributed to 'a little bit' of our waist line expansion by stuffing Mcdonalds nuggets, wing zings and french fries into our stomachs, and subsequently curry noodles, fried oyster and tiger beer at maxwell market. Ya, I know, the above expression 'a little bit' is overly understated. My tummy now feels like its drooping out of my pants as I typed. Shit. I will slap myself silly with 5 extra rounds at the running track from now on.

Personally, I like Chinatown because it is a heritage area for most of us immigrants who came from China decades ago. As a matter of fact, I am a sucker for old things. I can play Tony Bennett's "I left My Heart in San Fransisco" in my car for 2 straight weeks until my wife threatens with a divorce paper.

'Gu Chia Jui", hokkien expression of the mandarin term 'Niu Che Shui', known as Singapore's Chinatown is also a mixture of the old and hip culture altogether. Sprawling along the streets of Chinatown, you would expect to see "Ba Kut Teh" eating houses standing together with PartyWorld KTVs side by side. I used to worked in Chinatown up in one of the shop houses some years ago as a designer, this further adds on to my nostalgic liking for the place. Afterall, part of my best working life as a younger designer was once here.

It has been our yearly routine to visit Chinatown, May and I will never get tired of the uncles reciting poems by their stalls. Their creativity only makes coming to Chinatown more enjoyable. Save for the mediacorp artistes who were there to cripple human traffic flow (and turned us mere beings into sua kus), this is a terrific place.

Let us look forward to a properous 'PIG' year. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai, Ru Guo Bu Lai, Yi Hou Bie Lai!!!!

Happy Lunar New Year!