Sunday, October 16, 2016

Musical journey (75)

Many years ago I used to have a regular gig at a musical café in Singapore (it was called The Ark). It was a very innocent time when a group of like-minded people came together for the love of music to perform. We were all young and full of dreams back then and that was when I met my best pal Phoebee. That was also the time when I composed my greatest songs because that atmosphere was really conducive for musical creativity. I can’t deny that I wanted to use that environment as my stepping stone to stardom and I’m sure many of us and others alike had that same goal. However all of us had to grow up at some point and grow up we really did. Although I haven’t seen some of these people for a long time, there is a core group that still performs and I meet up with them whenever I’m in Singapore, not to mention crashing their gigs from time to time!

This month’s musical journey is a piece I wrote especially for an event that was meant to showcase all of us. It was a concert that the café’s boss put together. Everyone was in a group and each group had a time slot to perform. There were also duets and a segment with a drama serial theme. We had great fun and the night climaxed with the performance of the song I wrote. The unity with everyone singing that song together really made us feel that we could overcome anything. That’s the essence of youth and although I miss that, I’m glad that I’m now equipped with something I didn’t have back then i.e. maturity and security.

The clip I used for the song comprises of the snapshots of the concert programme along with the photograph taken at the end of the event outside the café. The arrangement comes from Yingying (one of those in the group that I still keep in contact with) and I would like to thank her for her help. When the song was debuted, the title was "启航" which means setting sail for the first time but now that it’s no longer played for the first time, I’ve changed it to "起航" which means set sail in a subsequent voyage. This song really brings back the memories of that wonderful period, a period that I will never forget, and I hope you’ll like it.


词 / 曲 : 锦泉







(再准备) 起航

[Set Sail]

In my heart lies a dream waiting to bloom
It’s more spectacular than fireworks
Standing on the stage is like witnessing a meteor shower
That’s where I make this brightest wish

In my heart burns an aspiration as brilliant as the stars
It has the potential to set prairies on fire
Just like my love ever expanding towards you
I want to make this stage the flashiest and prettiest place

Let us shine a light so dazzling that will change this world
Holding the hands of good friends
We’ll grow together from strength to strength
The day will come when we can finally spread our beautiful wings in the sky

Let us conquer all of life’s difficulties with music
As they present themselves in our path
Let this hope-laden ark dock safely in the harbour
So that it can set sail again towards the glorious future

Friday, September 30, 2016

Musical journey (74)

Spring is in the air and as the weather warms up, I look forward to having more outdoor fun and possibly photo shoots (I need to shed some winter weight first though). Things still remain frustratingly insecure on the work front but at least for the next month I'll have full-time work (part-time in the city office and part-time on site at the Altona refinery). Apparently I'm not senior enough to be accepted for a refinery position yet I'm supposed to be in it temporarily while the person who has vacated that position has gone on leave. That's so irritating! Well I'll grab whatever work that comes along now as beggars can't be choosers and hopefully this temporary work at the refinery matures into something permanent.

Also the dreaded and extremely pointless performance review is coming up and I'm so going to "cut and paste" everything from last year not only because things are truly the same but also there hasn't been a pay rise for AGES so there's really no incentive for anyone to perform better than others. That being said I think I'd have to seriously contemplate having to go through the arduous promotion process to get myself to a senior level so that I'll have an edge over the others in order to secure my job.

At least today is a public holiday and although I don't like sports and don't comprehend Australia's crazy obsession with it, I'm glad we have this sports holiday as it means that I can save another day of annual leave which I'm constantly being forced to take because of a lack of work. The vexing thing is that there's actually a lot of work but there's just no budget for it so we all end up working extra hours to complete the job for free (I'm doing some work over this long weekend from home). This is how engineering consultancies work i.e. they quote an unreasonably low price and/or compressed schedule to clients to win contracts and then squeeze employees to deliver more work at a faster pace for free, and it sucks.

I think I really need to get into some new hobbies or make some new friends to purge myself of all this angst but I'm lazy and nothing beats vegetating at home. Moreover doing nothing saves money and I need to grow my savings for the rainy day that's creeping closer and closer. I guess things will continue like this till at least the end of the year. Fortunately I still have an excellent hobby that costs nothing which is to compose new music and record covers and this brings us to the topic of the day.

This month's musical journey is a cover of one of my favourite Chinese pop duets by two of the biggest stars in the industry - Jay Chou and A*Mei. This is also the first time I recorded both the male and female parts and I really enjoyed it. Although I don't know what the plot of the MTV is all about, the tune is the thing that I like. It's also a tough one to cover because unlike traditional pop duets, the male and female vocals constantly switch between the lead melody and harmony roles. This complex tune can only come from someone who has strong musical training and Jay certainly has that. So have a listen and tell me if I should cover more duet songs like these OK?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Naked in the woods... again! (part 3)

Now that Picassa is gone and photos are managed using Google+, it all gets very confusing and frustrating. You see, Google+ is much more prudish in terms of nudity and they have banned me from adding more pictures because of the recent photos I have posted from this series. The aggravating part is they have not given me a chance to reverse that ban because I cannot even go in and delete those photos since they have locked me out indefinitely. However I have just found a loophole and managed to upload new pictures via my phone (they strangely only enforced this ban when accessed via the PC). This means that the slideshow you see on the left can still be kept abreast of my new pictures.

This buying of companies and amalgamation of applications is SUCH a pain and it looks like it will only get worse. Fortunately I can still post new pictures on this blog even though Blogger is owned by Google and I should thank my lucky stars and not continue whingeing right? I need to find a program or an easy way to back up my 260 blog posts that stretch 8 years though before anything bad happens and I need to do that soon. In the meantime I shall present the pictures that conclude this series (the first two parts are here and here). This last batch contains the only colour picture which really gives you a feel of the green jungle we were in that day. Do you prefer black-and-white or colour? Feel free to leave your comments especially if you are interested in the uncensored shots as I do have them featured in my photo book. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Naked in the woods... again! (part 2)

Sigh. It looks like I spoke too soon in my previous post when I said I have been kept busy with full-time work and hence a new photographic series with minimal writing would be a good lazy way out because from next week I will be back to part-time work (3-day week and then a 2-day week thereafter till the end of the month when it becomes a 0-day week). However I am chasing after several internal engineering and non-engineering opportunities at the moment and I hope that my resilience, perseverance and at least one of these pursuits works out.

The attention-whoring however must go on since I have to continue what I started and so today I am posting the second part of my Mount Coot-tha series shot in Brisbane (the first and third parts are here and here). When you are one with nature in a place where you can truly be nude without a care in the world, the best in you is brought out. Raw and uninhibited, here are the next nine shots in this series. Please leave a comment to get in touch with me if you want to view the uncensored hard full-frontal shots and I can strike you a deal with my photo book.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Naked in the woods... again! (part 1)

If a tree fell without anyone there to see it come down, would it have made a sound? If I stripped naked in a jungle without a soul around, am I still hot, sexy and muscle-bound? Before you answer that, my next three weekly posts must be absorbed in their entirety so that you can better make up your mind.

It's been a long time since I posted a complete photographic series and the changing of seasons and warmer weather have given me renewed energy and desire to flaunt myself again. As I've recently been quite busy with full-time work back in the Melbourne office, pictorial posts are the lazy and most efficient way out. Hence unnecessary words shall be kept to a minimum.

When I was working in Brisbane back in 2013, I had the pleasure to work with a photographer deep in the woods of Mount Coot-tha. There was an early morning trek which eventually led to my shoes giving way and I had to McGyver my way to a somewhat salvaged pair to safely exit the woods (it was a painful walk to say the least). However it was all worth it as this series landed me a spread in an online UK-based magazine that features full nudes of the most gorgeous men of the world. It was an utmost honour to grace this publication alongside these naked beautiful studs and be associated with that same level of hotness.

Oh yes, this is a full-frontal series with plenty of hardness down there if you know what I mean. Sadly what I'll be sharing here and on social media will only be the censored version. If you want to experience the raw unadulterated power of a muscled Asian body, you can either purchase the online magazine or get in touch with me as I've included these uncensored shots in my photo book (many more full hard-on pictures in there than just the few in the online magazine). OK that's enough talk and I'll now shut up and let you have a moment with the first set (the other parts are here and here). Give me a shout after to tell me what you think!


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Musical journey (73)

Before my monthly musical post, here's a little update. Ision and I have both made up our minds that we're going to stay put in Melbourne and not relocate especially since we've just moved into our new apartment. This decision led me to commit the most painful act of turning down several interviews for jobs that require a move to Sydney. It was a really difficult decision because I know how tough the job market is for engineers like me at the moment. However looking on the bright side, it means that despite the depressed climate, I'm able to land interviews so I'm in a not-too-bad situation after all.

When it comes to employment versus my boo, there's really no comparison and boo always trumps everything. I seriously didn't know what I was thinking when I was contemplating a long-distance relationship (as stated in my last musical post)! Now that my job search has narrowed down to Melbourne, the time spent daily on job sites have dropped significantly and this jives well with my busy schedule now that I've returned to working full-time in the Melbourne office. But how long will this last? That's the 64-million dollar question fuelling my urge to get another more stable job. There are also rumours floating around that there will soon be a massive pay cut of 30 - 40% in my current company. How can anyone remaining in it not start to look elsewhere in the face of ever-increasing cost of living? I guess I just have to continue embracing this instability with no end to this in sight.

Alright, the update is over and it's now on to this month's musical post. As you all know I explore a lot of themes in my compositions but there’s usually a common thread across all these themes. I like to create a contrast or conflict in my songs because I think it produces a fuller and more interesting story and this month’s creation of mine is no different.

Many see Paris as the uber-romantic place and yearn to be there with someone they’re in love with. There must however be thousands of heartbroken people walking the city streets alone every night and I feel that there should be a song representing them. The contrast between their extreme desolation and Paris being the city of romance makes good song-writing fodder. In the song I’m sharing today, the protagonist drags his heavy feet along the maze-like Paris alleys at night and ends up at the Eiffel Tower. Too tired and drained to carry on, he spends the night under the cold metallic giant as he cries himself to sleep.

Cliché it might be but aren’t pop songs supposed to be? This is also one of the pieces written back when I started my song-writing journey so you have to pardon its amateurish aspects. Other than that, do give it a listen while sparing a thought for the lonely hearts out there in your city tonight.


词 / 曲 : 锦泉

一个人沦落到   遥远的国度

一个人拖着   千斤重的脚步

看看这   寂寞的浪漫之都

看看我   我的前方一片模糊

[One Night in Paris]

Here I am alone in a distant land
Experiencing the city of romance that has never been this cold
Sleeping by myself under the Tower
Left only with tears to warm the frigid isolation

Dragging my heavy feet alone
I see this city of romance from another perspective
Crying by myself under the Tower
Letting out a quiet echo, the only thing who knows my pain

Look at this lonely city of romance
The pitiful moon tonight fails to light the darkest recesses of my heart

Look at my future, so blurry and directionless
Even Mona Lisa is weeping

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pink dot virgin no more (part 2)

Here is part two of my series on my first-ever Pink Dot (part one is here).

The drag queens were all out in full force that day and I knew I had to take a picture with each and every one of them. I've always wondered why are most drag queens so tall and overpowering (and that is even before they start unleashing their quick and oft-acidic wit). Why aren't there more petite and soft-spoken drag queens?

Here's another in drag and this time with a Japanese flavour. They must have found it hard to source for their pretty pink costumes for the event. Thankfully I know I look horrendous in drag otherwise I'd be stressing over my getup as well. I'm lucky in the sense that I'm more fabulous when I'm in barely nothing at all, which is the perfect look for a person as lazy as me.

There were performances from local artistes as well as speeches and presentations on the stage throughout the event. After being away from Singapore for so long, I knew none of those acts which was totally fine with me since most of my time was spent at the community stalls section. I was stationed topless in front of my friend's booth for a social group called MOVE Community and in the process helped attract lots of traffic to it which really put my abs to good use. Needless to say I loved all the attention of course!

Drag queens come in all shapes and sizes and it's events like Pink Dot when we can all be ourselves. For me it's putting my best assets in full public display and making all my time spent in the gym worthwhile. I got a lot of compliments that afternoon and no one can ever get too many of them.

Although it was drizzling slightly at times which meant that the weather wasn't that oppressive, it must still have been uncomfortably stuffy in that costume so I really admired the effort. Fortunately I wore sandals and so the muddy ground from the rain didn't bother me a single bit. I was too busy taking pictures and letting others take pictures of me. Behind me was the stall promoting the annual IndigNation event a.k.a. Singapore's Pride season. There were a large number of stalls with various causes and there were also some that gave out free popcorn and cotton candy which added further cheer to the carnival atmosphere.

This was taken in front of the stall I was stationed at and these were the folks from the MOVE Community social group with their placards. I contacted my friend who runs this group (third from the left) and asked if I could hang out at the stall as I didn't want to be at Pink Dot alone and he was more than happy for that to happen. I did wander away and walked around the jam-packed park once in a while to soak in the atmosphere and to let more people admire my body. I can't help not being an attention-whore when I have the body I have!

This is the moment before we were told to raise our placards to form a pink dot. The air was electrifying and thick with fervent intensity and was the best moment of the day. To prepare for the climactic moment that's Pink Dot's never-changing hallmark, we had to be herded into the area of the park where "protesting" is allowed (i.e. something foreigners couldn't do without breaking the law). Such is the environment the LGBT community has to survive in daily and is one of the main reasons why I left my homeland for good in 2008.

This was the spectacular result of the pink dot formation that can only be fully-appreciated from up high. Pink Dot attendance has grown exponentially which has resulted in numbers exceeding the location's capacity for a few years now and hence the organisers have stopped counting the number of attendees this year. The pink dot has now become a pink mass but that's something no one will complain about.

This is my favourite shot of the day and was my Facebook cover photo for many days after Pink Dot. As soon as I posed for my phone camera (held by an onlooker) to get this shot, a lot of reporters from various media outlets also started snapping and that was why this shot appeared in many news articles. Being able to attend Pink Dot this year was awesome and having my picture get so much exposure is the icing on the cake.

I have attended New York's Pride and Sydney's Mardi Gras so I've seen it all and although Pink Dot is much milder in comparison, one must be reminded that being able to hold such a massive event in a country as discriminatory towards the LGBT community as Singapore is already an enormous feat. Hence I'm glad I made this trip especially for it. Now I can tell myself and others I've been part of this major Asian gay event as an out, loud and proud gay Singaporean. For those who have never been to one, it's highly recommended!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pink dot virgin no more (part 1)

Pink Dot started in Singapore after I left the country for good and since then I've always not been able to attend this major annual event in the Asian gay calendar due to work and poor timing. With the end of my stint in Papua New Guinea, the stars were aligned and I finally had the chance to go. I was hoping for a night event like the previous few years but I heard from the organisers that it was easier to enforce the no-foreigner rule in the day. You see, foreigners are not allowed to protest whilst locals can only do so in a specific location (Hong Lim Park in Chinatown). People who are against the Pink Dot movement often make lots of trouble for the organisers by pointing out breaches to this rule to the police and so the only way to solve this problem is to hold the event when there's daylight. Despite this Pink Dot has been held successfully annually since 2009 and in the next two posts (second post is here), I shall share with you how much fun I had during this year's event.

There's always a symbolic gesture for Pink Dot participants that not only represents the conscious protest they're partaking in, it also creates the pink dot formation that's an awesome sight to behold from up high. This year we had to write messages on placards and I went with an extremely optimistic one. Although I know the legalisation of gay marriage will never happen in Singapore during my lifetime, I still wish my Singaporean friends could have this basic human right which my husband and I enjoy (albeit under British and not Australian law). The positive message must of course be conveyed by a positive image and so I had to go topless which was also perfect for the hot and humid weather. Any excuse to show my hard-earned muscles right?

The dress code for the event is anything pink and so I searched high and low for the smallest pair of hot pink shorts I could find. These mini wings and the feather boa I used as an accent (seen in the previous picture) were all from the Chingay parade I marched in topless back in 2010 (as documented in this post). That Chingay effort was billed as the first gay "contingent" to ever marched in the event (even though there were only two of us). Do you think I wore my pink ensemble well?

So many people came to take pictures with me that day and I joked on Facebook that I should have charged a little something for every snap and I'd be rich. Although it's a gay event, I was the only completely topless guy there. This not only proves that Singapore is indeed a conservative country, it tells me that the reasons why I left Singapore back in 2008 are all still valid. Perhaps there were just no one with my body who was as daring to show off like me. That second line of reasoning works well with me too. Hehe.

People from all walks of life attend Pink Dot and the 2016 event was no different. In this fight for equality what we need are straight and religious allies to show that sexuality and religion are no justification for bigotry and ignorance.

This is me with one of the Pink Dot organisers and my dear friend (who marched with me in that Chingay parade). I never fail to catch up with him whenever I go back home. That being said, maybe Pink Dot wasn't the best place to catch up as he was kept very busy on that day. Fortunately we already had a good long chat days before in another meeting.

Here is another friend (on my left) whom I haven't met for a number of years now. He was originally from Melbourne as well and now lives in Singapore with his partner (beside him in the picture). If you think I look especially lean here that's because I am. I always get more shredded when I'm back in Singapore because of how much walking I do and the how much I perspire in the tropical weather (which makes water-retention close to impossible).

Apart from meeting up with old friends, I made some new ones as well and here is one of them. I just love his bright pink hair! He also had make-up on and he told me that was to prepare for the many pictures that would be taken of him on that day.

The biggest progress for Pink Dot this year was the big increase in the number of corporate sponsors from 10 to 18 with Bloomberg was one of them. Naturally the conservative anti-gay camp voiced their concern purporting that foreign entities should not be interfering in domestic affairs. The government who always panders to these naysayers gave a predictably knee-jerk response to appease them by saying that these companies are not allowed to sponsor Pink Dot next year. This problem will not go away as long as these pesky and vocal religious nuts who are in the minority give us a break to actually get to know their own religion better and get that vile hate out of their system.

If you want to see more of me topless at Pink Dot, stay tuned for my next post in a week's time!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Musical journey (72)

The first half of 2016 has passed us by and it looks like the next half is going to be a challenging one for me trying to figure out what my next move is in my continued search for something that can pay the bills. Although there is intermittent non-full time work coming in (which I've expected), the situation I'm in right now is still far from ideal. Fortunately Ision and I have finished moving into our new apartment in Hawthorn and the rent I have to pay him has dropped quite a bit which makes bill-paying less stressful. That being said I now have my husband as a landlord and it's interesting to find out if that changes the relationship dynamics in any way.

Now that we are almost fully-settled in I can continue focussing on securing more work by applying for jobs online, building and maintaining a wide LinkedIn network and extending my feelers to their maximum length whenever I am in the Melbourne office. I hate to beg for work (or for anything!) but I have to and have been doing that (in a professional way of course). However it's not all bad news as I'm having a job interview over the phone next week (after 35 job applications no less!). This job requires a relocation to Sydney and Ision is not too keen on that on many fronts so I guess I'll just go ahead with the interview and cross bridges when I encounter them. It's a promotion though if I do get it so the job is not totally unattractive even though it's only for a five-year project.

In the meantime I have to get used to commuting to work again now that we no longer live in the city. Hawthorn is a nice suburb though and I'm sure we'll enjoy it as much as the city now that we've fully explored our new neighbourhood. This is the fifth place I've lived in since I moved to Australia (the first one with a balcony) and to be honest we're both quite sick of moving. Fortunately we'll not be doing that for a long time. We've just finished cleaning up the old apartment and are returning its keys next week which will provide us with the much-needed closure of this old chapter in our lives. I'll post more updates when they become available.

OK, whingeing and updating are now over and now it's on to this month's musical post which features a cover of Owl City’s “Take to the Sky” (one of my favourite animation soundtracks). This singer does this genre perfectly as evident in the lyrics and tune which when combined brings out the magical wonder of the story so well. However all his songs do sound similar and he can do much better by diversifying his style. I'm curious though as to whether or not there is any relationship between the movie and the name adopted by this singer. Anyway this up-tempo piece is my musical offering for the month and I hope you like it.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

No more

No more missing boo for a month and going through the pain of leaving him every month.

No more hugging my substitute-boo i.e. my bolster every night and saying “night night boo”, “I love you” and “I miss you” to it.

No more being in a constant unsettled state of countdown.

No more having to endure small talk with people you don’t like and have no common interests with 24/7.

No more being made to feel anti-social by sitting at one corner of the mess just because I don’t like to play the political game via socialising.

No more withdrawing into my shell and feeling depressed for not fitting in.

No more omnipresent body odour everywhere you go.

No more talking to people who really don’t understand you completely.

No more dealing with lazy and extremely-overpaid people who are just there to do the bare minimum while cruising through their pre-retirement work journey.

No more working on a project that is on the lowest priority list of everyone required to help you complete it.

No more work given to you with no clear directions.

No more feeling like a second-class citizen which happens every time you get seconded to a client’s site.

No more lack of phone communication with boo because of having not a phone assigned to me.

No more having to carry all your stuff with you from site to site like a nomad.

No more having to untangle your laptop wires every morning.

No more stocking of bananas collected over lunch as a snack between meals due to the fixed meal times and having the bananas go bad.

No more unstable Internet, phone network and TV reception.

No more room equipment that does not work.

No more risking your life by talking chartered flights on poorly-maintained (and smelly) aircrafts.

Yes, that is why I am so happy to not have to fly back to Papua New Guinea last week and forever.

That being said, I will miss the food and the fact that you don’t need to cook and clean, not to mention the higher pay with zero commute to work and the ability to take short holidays during the four-week break while earning free frequent-flyer points. The bottom line is we all have to eat and pay the bills so we have no choice but to put up with a job that we all don’t like. If the job market wasn’t that miserable I would have gladly chosen a 9 to 5 job over the fly-in/fly-out roster any day but the depressed climate makes a beggar of us all.

What is the future installed for me? Will I be able to get back to being an engineer? Do I have no choice but to change my career path? Seeing how bad the Australian job market is currently, I think it is time for some drastic changes. Is this going to be a crisis or the best opportunity in my life? Watch this space, OK?

In the meantime Ision and I have just gotten the keys to our new apartment and we'll be moving some time next week. With us no longer renting, we no longer face the risk of being forced to move when the owner wants to sell the unit which means that at least one uncertainty will be removed from our lives. This relocation is also timely as it keeps me busy otherwise staying at home these days with no work will drive me crazy (out of anxiety, not boredom). My next entry will be posted from our new place and I’m so looking forward to settling into it!