Sunday, February 19, 2017

Musical journey (79)

I've just returned from Singapore a few days ago where I've been celebrating Chinese New Year and catching up with friends and family for a fortnight. I've been eating much more this trip compared to my previous one and although I've not put on any weight, I've noticed that I've lost some definition of my abs. Don't worry I'll get that lean cut look back as I always do. I'll be sharing some of the Facebook posts I've made during this trip here next month so stay tuned if you'd like to know what I've been up to.

You know, when my abs are back in prime form they would really come in handy during this Mardi Gras season if I were to visit Sydney. Alas my days of drunken partying are long over and these old bones now very much prefer to stay at home with boo. I've marched in two Mardi Gras parades so it's a case of been-there-done-that anyway. The good memories from those marches will not only always be with me, they're also sometimes tapped into when I'm writing party anthems.

This month's musical journey celebrates the 2017 Sydney Mardi Gras season that starts today (as well as belatedly last month's Melbourne's Midsumma Festival). In this composition in addition to my Mardi Gras memories I was also channelling a little bit of Gaga, the ultimate gay icon. When I was writing this piece I wanted the theme of inclusivity to shine through and the title aptly and succinctly captures that spirit. I also wanted to say something about not being afraid to be who you are. That's because by stepping out of the closet you're not only making the scene more vibrant, you can also show the not-so-enlightened straight segment of the population how normal homosexuality is and how no one should ever hate or fear the LGBTI community.

I feel really positive about this composition as I think it's quite good (if I may toot my own horn a little here). The clip I used is sexy as hell too and I hope that's the icing on the celebratory cake. Happy Mardi Gras everyone and remember to play safe but play hard!

[Feather & Leather]

Get all strapped up
Come on and gear up
All you doms go grab your subs
Do your hair up
And flawless makeup
On your heels down to the club

You're a hunk straight out of a magazine
Scream louder than Halloween
Or just one of gazillion colours in between

Open that closet door
Don't hide in shadows anymore
Spread your wings
We'd love to see you soar

Catching all that glitter with your feathers
And sweat it out with the tightest leather
We'll do it our own way it doesn't matter
What you say

All you haters
Trying to break us
Packed with fists and armed with slurs
We get stronger
When we're together
We'll let you see the power of love

You're not a princess you're a queen
And a lean and mean machine
But you can't fight if you remain behind the scenes

So get right to the fore
Don't stay silent anymore
Stand up tall
We'd love to hear you roar

Strutting on the floor shaking those feathers
Turning heads all round, all bound in leather
Follow our lead 'cos we do it better
And dance away

I want all your hands up
And I wanna feel the pride in your hearts

With a will so sure
You can't ignore us anymore
So let's all just make love tonight not war

Catching all that glitter with your feathers
And sweat it out with the tightest leather
We'll do it our own way it doesn't matter
What you say

Strutting on the floor shaking those feathers
Turning heads all round, all bound in leather
Follow our lead 'cos we do it better
And dance away

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Musical journey (78)

I am blogging this from Singapore on the second day of Chinese New Year and after I hit "Post" I will be helping my mum out in the kitchen as she is preparing the second Chinese New Year lunch banquet for the whole family so I will keep this short. I landed two days ago and will be here for 18. There is still much local fare to fill my tummy and friends to catch up with and I am so looking forward to that. Now on to this month's musical post.

I first noticed Josh Groban in one of my favourite shows "Ally McBeal" during my army days when I was totally hooked on the series. Josh's character came up in the episode commemorating September 11th when he sang "To Where You Are" to the loved ones he has lost in an accident that was supposed to mimic the New York City disaster.

This emotional song tugged at my heart strings in an extremely profound manner because I was still deeply-stuck in my lack-of-father-figure complex back then. The lyrics kept reminding me that I had this missing person and hole in my life that yearned to but failed to be filled. I used to tear up every time I sing the song too. Though I no longer have this complex, I'm glad I went through that struggle as it made me a much stronger person.

I dedicate this month's musical post to all who have lost a loved one and hope they are strong again or get back that strength soon. Here is my rendition of Josh Groban's "To Where You Are".

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Kim the gaymer

If you have lived under a rock for the past 5 years and don’t know what a gaymer is, it’s simply a gamer who is gay. Duh. I don’t know the history behind the coining of that term but maybe it was created by a gay person who thought he was attractive or had a good fashion sense and wanted to distinguish himself from the stereotypical image of a gamer i.e. somewhat geeky, possibly obese and someone who dresses poorly.

Whatever the history and your sexuality is, the business of gaming is the fastest growing sector in the entertainment industry and is here to stay for a long time. By the way if you think gamers are hard-core dudes who do all-nighters in internet cafes, you’re sorely mistaken. If you’re into smartphone games a lot of which target females (think Angry Birds and Candy Crush), you’re considered a gamer too. Angry Birds went from a humble game on your mobile to a Hollywood movie so you can gauge from this the potential of this industry and how much successful game-developers stand to be paid.

I’m a gaymer myself if you don’t already know, both with smartphone games and those on consoles. Ever since the two major players in the field upgraded to their next generation consoles, I’ve wanted to follow suit but was waiting for their game repertoires to mature. Also there wasn’t much point in upgrading my first-generation Xbox 360 when I still had a crappy TV. So recently we nabbed a bargain and changed our full HD TV to a UHD 4K model. Your eyes can’t discern resolution beyond a certain extent so there’s really no reason to fork out that much extra for a newly-released model with enhanced resolution. The price of a TV drops drastically whenever its new model is released and by buying the older version, I got a very good deal on my 55” Sony Bravia.

Sony was the choice because it’s the best for gaming as opposed to other brands that are more optimised for movie-watching. Moreover Sony has just released its Playstation 4 Pro which makes it the newest available console in the market. It also boasts the VR or virtual reality option which I intend to pursue in the future. A lot of my gaming friends also recommended Playstation 4 over Xbox One which matched my extensive online research findings. All this culminated in my complete gaming upgrade before Christmas which was planned in advance so that I could play over the Christmas break.

Now you must think what an anti-social or lifeless person I am for celebrating the festive season in front of the TV playing video games. Well if that’s what you think, you don‘t really know gaming and the game I was (and still am) playing. This game took 10 years to make and is one of the most successful franchises in the world i.e. Final Fantasy XV. To give you an idea of how popular this game is, it actually released a full-length movie (Kingsglaive) as a promo. How many games manage to do that? The purpose of this post is not to sell games or TVs and consoles for that matter so I’ll not go into details of the game. However like all things in life, there are pros and cons with any decision or action and being a gaymer is no different and I do want to share what I think are the main ones.

The biggest advantage of choosing gaming as an entertainment option is its value for money. A new console game costs about $80 and that gives you hours of fun. A full-length game’s main quest typically takes 40 to 50 hours to complete and that doesn’t include the many other optional quests one gets to also enjoy. Imagine if you had spent those 50 hours socialising outdoors, how much more would that have cost you when you factor in the amount spent on transport, drinks, food and venue admission charges? As an avid and oft extreme saver who dislikes socialising unless it’s with close friends which I don’t have a lot of in Melbourne, gaming is an obvious choice for me. The Christmas period was also oppressively hot so staying indoors gaming away had the added advantage of avoiding bad weather.

As alluded earlier a lot of money is invested in the gaming industry and that goes into story- and soundtrack-development in addition to the creation of jaw-dropping graphics. With good visuals, plot and music plus the fact that you’re actually actively controlling how everything develops, gaming offers a far more immersive experience than watching a movie. After 50 hours of being a character, how can one not be invested in every aspect of him or her? I’ll be watching Kingsglaive again after completing Final Fantasy XV and I’m sure I’ll get a whole different array of feelings and emotions. I’m so looking forward to that.

All that being said, I still don’t choose to start a game willy-nilly as I know I’ll get addicted to it and lose track of other life priorities upon commencement. Although to me that’s the biggest con in gaming, I actually see that as a pro being too good. It’s because the game is made so well that it draws you in completely thereby causing that addiction. By the way I never ever compromise my fitness regimen for anything and gaming is no different but I must admit being stuck in front of the TV gaming your weekends away does reduce your overall activity level. You also tend to eat less healthily by choosing pre-packaged processed food (e.g. instant noodles, frozen pizza, etc.) that doesn’t require much preparation and so takes the minimum time away from gaming.

Whenever I embark on completing a game, the addiction means that my hermit mode is activated. Midsumma (i.e. Mardi Gras Fair Day for Melbournians) is on today and I am giving this major gay event a pass and choosing gaming instead. However this doesn’t mean that one becomes cut off from the world because most games have multi-player options nowadays and you can actually build friendships and relationships playing a game together online. Who is to say that is not a good thing? The other disadvantages I can think of are maybe over-stimulation causing poorer sleep quality if you play just before you sleep and blisters on your palm from using the game controller for too long a period. In my opinion these are minor compared to the hours of enjoyment one gets from gaming.

For your information I only presented the cons of gaming to balance things up as I personally don’t see any downside that will actually stop me from doing it. Of course having a husband that’s a bigger gaymer than yourself certainly helps and my being engrossed in my own game gives him his much-needed peace and quiet and so I’m sure he doesn’t have anything to complain about. That’s unless we’re both fighting to play the same game which rarely happens now that he has started the retail version of World of Warcraft which is another massively-immersive game which has a huge following.

So it looks like there’s nothing substantial between me and gaming and therefore onwards I go in my Final Fantasy journey. To conclude this post here are some screenshots (*** possible spoilers warning ***). I took from that game that I really like (especially the food ones!).

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Being thankful on Facebook

In the second entry of my 2016 look back series, I've summarised the Facebook posts I've made for the past year that contain things that I'm either thankful for or make me happy. All this positivity is perfect for balancing the negative energy that emanates from the previous entry. With this balance now all is reset thereby putting in the best position to welcome the new year.


I love these nights when I veg at home watching my downloaded videos waiting for my boo to come home from work. Totally relaxed but fully prepared to hop like a bunny to the front door at the sound of it opening.

The sound of fire crackers is finally ringing in the air heralding the impending arrival of the new year and in about nine hours, I will greet my mummy at the airport kick-starting her one-week stay to experience the vibrant new year festivities in a Western country for the first time. Happy Chinese New Year of the Monkey everyone!

Suddenly feeling the need to be thankful. Be thankful that you're throwing out thrash because it means that you have the financial means to own things to begin with. Be thankful that you have a warm bed to sleep in tonight (even luckier if it's with someone you love) knowing that there are many sleeping rough outside in wintry Melbourne.

For the first time in my life I've exchanged actual products with my frequent flyer points, all thanks to the numerous flights to and from Cairns for my Papua New Guinea assignment. $200 worth of free groceries here I come!

Boo will be back early and home soon!!! Elation drowned out questions and so excuse me now as I need to warm my arms up to prepare for major hugging later!

Do you know why my happiness level on Thursday mornings before work is comparable to a Friday evening when the weekend starts? Because that's when I'm furthest from my next gym visit, time-wise.

Even as an amateur song-writer who does it only as a hobby, I've gotten quite a bit of royalty so far from just one song since 2010. Imagine how much I can amass if I put my total heart and soul into it as a full-time song-writer!

All our stuff is now in at our new place. We have power, gas and hot water! A whole new page of our lives have officially started! Super excited but super tired as well!

It's a quiet night at home for me while husband's out enjoying himself. I'm so glad we can be equally comfy with being apart and being clingy when we're next to each other. It's a balance fine-tuned over the last 8 years and Ision and I are loving it!

For a nerdy engineer with a very limited social circle both online and in real life, to amass 180,000 blog hits is quite a feat. Now what should I post to really make the hits go through the roof I wonder...?

Breakfast boo made was so yummy and filling that I can do without lunch today and the extra calories that come with it. What a way to enjoy food without the guilt!

Last day of work before the Christmas break is now done! Final Fantasy XV I'll be visiting you intensively for the next 4 days!

It's always nice to find yourself on other people's blogs especially blogs that feature hot guys!

Advantage of being married #65: Free relaxing mutual massage sessions at home where you can moan to your heart's content.

Tried the nice ramen place just opposite our apartment. How lucky are we to live in Melbourne huh.

I used to compare myself with other guys in the gym who have hotter bodies than mine and get upset. Now I tell myself - as long as you are a regular gym-goer who is there to really work out, you're already better than 90% of the people out there. You don't have to set yourself up for failure with unrealistic goals.

Tonight I can finally taste the capability of the newest member of the family a.k.a. the slow cooker. Smells really nice booboo!

Being the only one topless at Pink Dot (yes, the ONLY one) I took so many pictures with so many people today it's not funny. If only I charged them per shot! But then again I'm a camera whore and I love all the attention so it's all good. It's such a good decision to come back just for this major Singaporean gay event. Love is love no matter who you are and nobody can deny you this love that you deserve. #PinkDot2016

An elaborate breakfast this morning greeted me when I woke today. Hope your married life is as blissful as mine! Baked eggs with vintage cheddar, Hungarian salami, tomato, parsley, garlic and onion plus portobello mushrooms pan-fried in butter and soy sauce, and toast.

I know I've been complaining a lot recently regarding a lack of work. I do know that I'm already much luckier than a lot of other people who don't even have a roof over their heads or an able body to look for a job in the first place. It looks like things are going to improve very soon though! #ThankingMyLuckyStars

Mummy asked hubby what he added in his mushroom breakfast dish that made it smell so good. The chef must be feeling proud! By the way the secret was butter, something not used in traditional Chinese cooking.

I was exploring my neighborhood after gym and I found the perfect jogging route. It's great that we live almost next to the Glenferrie Oval. I sense lots of outdoor cardio from now.

8 years ago today I stepped foot in Australia as a permanent resident for the first time and now I call this country home, for better or worse. Actually there is no "worse" as my life is now complete with Ision. However 8 years on the engineering industry is now in a very different place and steady employment at this point will make my life even more complete. Hope I'm not asking for too much here. Well here's to another 8 years!

Birthday dinner with hubby. And yes, I got my requested birthday present and have already started using it. Now on to my 39th year on this planet.

"Your drive and work ethic combined with your obvious skill has been a real benefit not just to us in the Production department but OSL, in striving for Operational Excellence, so thank you very much." This came from the highest-ranking person on site in Papua New Guinea. I think I did an OK job in my close-to-2-years there.

I've tried and tested the new WhatsApp video functionality (ABOUT BLOODY TIME IT'S MADE AVAILABLE!) and it's all systems go. I now finally don't need my obsolete iPhone 4 with me when I travel alone just to Facetime with boo!

A day of crisp country air followed by a night of restful sleep coming up. A good weekend it has been so far. Goodnight.

Step 1: Asking to collaborate with photographer. Step 2: Securing a time slot. Step 3: Body conditioning. Step 4: A little bit of tanning to add colour. Step 5: Waiting for the shoot to start. Step 6: Actual shoot. Step 7: Waiting for the pictures. Step 8: Final editing. Step 9: Posting the finished product. Step 10: Relishing the compliments. Guess which step I'm at right now? Mave hope it'll be a great one today!

"Why I love married life - reason #27:
Ision: There is leftover chicken and vegetable soup for you if you want it.
Me: Thank you boo!"

It's Monday again and I'm really thankful that I've a job to go to. No Monday blues here at all!  :)

Having a gorgeous muscular man of mixed parentage turning his head to gawk at you while walking and then bumping into other people... Priceless. Looks like I still got it!

Well I shouldn't be angry with hubby for buying that new iPad Pro because this means that I'll be taking over his old iPad 2.  :) #HaveToUseiTunesAgain #NotAnApplePerson

Mummy is back in Singapore safe and sound and that formally ends her Melbourne trip. Now that I've booked my flights home, I have to make a list of her best dishes that I need to savour when I'm there. Your mum's cooking is something that money can't buy and we should all cherish it as well as our time with our mums when we still can.

I'm thankful each and every day for not having children, otherwise I'd be a slave for them for the rest of my working life in a job I'm forced to like just so I can rise up the ranks and earn more to feed the people I brought to life yet have increasingly no time for.


So there you have it, my 2016 in a nutshell. The reason why this second part of my 2016 look back series is posted on this new day of 2017 is to serve as a reminder to continue being thankful in this new year. Hope you've had a great time revelling wantonly in drunken merriment. Happy 2017!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Being whiny on Facebook

It's the eve of a holiday that bears not much meaning for me but it does mean that we're nearing the end of the year and so it's the perfect time to look back at how 2016 has been. Much of our lives nowadays is lived and played out on social media and Facebook is the tool I use to document mine. There are mainly three types of Facebook posts - selfies, whiny ones and those brimming with optimism. In the next two entries I will share the Facebook whinges I have made as well as things that I'm thankful for in 2016 (the second post is here). Let's start with the more notable posts I made when I needed to vent my frustrations.


PLEASE! No more "I have XXX friends on Facebook. Let's see how many of you will care to leave a comment"! I'm a big attention whore but even I'm not that whory to post something like that! 

There is a Christian TV channel here in Papua New Guinea with nothing but creepy sermons and preaching. If you are craving for some cringing, you gotta tune in for just a few seconds and you'll get your wish and then some!

I heard a complaint the other day at work that people who don't attend company parties are missing out on building better work relationships. But why do they like to make them fancy dress parties?! This forcing and troubling of people to put on something they feel uncomfortable in is the main reason why they don't attend these events! I was biting my tongue so hard and couldn't express my true feelings when my boss whinged about this!

From one irrelevance (Halloween) to another (horse racing and gambling). But then again how often does one's birthday fall on a public holiday? I should really count my blessings.

Can't believe I have to wake up at 6.15am tomorrow to get to the gym when I'm on vacation! If that's not dedication tell me what is? Goodnight everyone!

Please do not show me pictures of your babies. If you'll die without sending them to me, just send them but don't expect me to offer compliments. I'll say nice things if there's something nice to say. In other words please expect nothing other than silence from me after you hit "send".

Just like Christmas, there is a Good Friday message from the church today on national television when cringe-worthy preaching is unashamedly broadcast within a dedicated time slot. I wonder if there truly is a 100% secular country on this planet.

Someone asked me recently what did 8 years of Pink Dot achieve in Singapore. If you're an optimist you'll say that at least the government has allowed the LGBT community to continue having this breathing space. However the overpowering skeptic in me knows that nothing much has been won when 8 years of hard work can come crumbling down so fast and so easily because of the age old vocal-minority-screams-to-a-government-that-panders-to-it-and-gets-its-way-again problem.
This latest Ministry of Home Affairs v Pink Dot saga is a classic case of the 2-steps forward-2-steps-back phenomenon that pushed me away from Singapore back in 2008. My life is too short to let my home country mess with it. For those contemplating to leave as well please know that you're not quitting the fight, you're just wanting what every human being deserves.
As for the rest who chooses to stay, if you don't continue to fight, you can only blame yourself for your own plight. That is if you realise you're leading a sub-standard life void of many very basic human rights in the first place. I know of many Singaporeans who have been numbed and dumbed down by the government over the past decades to feel that the condition they're in is normal or worse still good for them.
So in summary either you leave or stay to fight. For those who don't fight, you've essentially accepted your fate as second class citizens. However it's everyone's duty to let those who still don't know they are knee-deep in shit that they are.

First world problem #462: Felt really tired after my first full day back at work. Reason? I woke up one hour earlier than required because I forgot to update the time on my phone while the alarm time remained the same. Lesson learnt.

Looks like my attempt at nominating myself for the monthly employee recognition award (based on all the good client feedback from my time in Papua New Guinea) has failed. It's either I'm not good enough (which is highly unlikely because I've seen people getting the award based on crappier "performance") or my manager is totally not interested in recognising his people despite being paid to do so (likely the real reason, not that it's any surprise). Although it's just two Gold Class cinema tickets or a supermarket gift voucher, it's the principle that counts, and I believe hands down that I deserve that award for putting up with being stuck at that ultra ulu (Singlish for remote) place for almost 2 years!

A parliament is not the thing I want hung! Let's all just wait and let this cliffhanger unfold in the coming days. In the meantime let's move on on social media OK?

URGH! 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 now I can't use Google+ because they have banned me for my latest photographic series and to date have not given a way to reverse that ban. Does this mean I can't post any more pictures on my blog on Blogger which is also owned by Google? This buying of companies and amalgamation of applications is SUCH a pain and it looks like it will only get worse. Anyone feels the same way too?

I really don't know why this simple item (Danish Butter Cookies) has become such a rarity in Australia! Only stocked during Christmas?! Why?! Made me stock two tins as a result even though the quality is not very good.

There must be something fundamentally wrong with how the Australian government runs projects (light rail, NBN and what have you). It's either that or there's serious corruption in its ranks. Maybe a bit of both...

Why must politicians scream at each other in the parliament? Don't they know the louder you get, the lower your EQ is? Such immature brats controlling the country. Tsk tsk tsk.

Was thinking of treating boo to a nice Japanese meal tonight but I guess I chose the wrong place and here's why.
1) The kaiseiki set I wanted needed prior reservation with this requirement not indicated on the menu thereby causing disappointment right from the start (having the kaiseiki set available was the basis of my choosing the restaurant).
2) One of the entrees had missing items.
3) Stale oil was used to pan-fry the okonomiyaki dish leaving a bad oil taste.
4) Fried rice being a dish that's not easy to fail bombed big time with too much salt and pepper added making the dish the worst fried rice I've ever had in a restaurant.
5) Banana fritters dessert as per the menu was not available and was replaced by two paltry scoops of ice-cream.
6) The place is not run by Japanese and hence all the dishes had a distinct Chinese-takeaway flavour.
7) Head waiter didn't know how to conduct a Paywave transaction...
...and yet I was charged the full price. I wanted to give them suggestions on the spot but why should I help them improve their operations when they failed to meet the most basic of requirements? Suffice to say tonight's the last time the restaurant will see us.
#INeedToVent #FirstWorldProblems

It's the day of the dreaded work performance review. Aside from being a major disruption to work and a complete waste of time in the face of the longstanding pay-freezes and even possible impending pay-cuts, that hour of faking-it to the maximum level is going to take its toll on me. Hope I emerge from it unbothered or at least unscathed.

Victoria is so sports-obsessed that the Friday before the football grand finals i.e. today is actually a public holiday. Oh and Victoria is gambling-obsessed too (case in point: Melbourne Cup racing holiday). Well I'm not complaining because this means that I can save at least one day of forced annual leave. 

It doesn't pay to book flights early to get the best price! Because of Jetstar's Friday Frenzy fare promotion, I could have saved $75 on my upcoming Singapore flight if I hadn't booked so early! URGH!

I have never heard of negative interest rates until now and it is exactly what I thought it would be - you will lose part of your principal when you deposit money in the bank! I certainly wouldn't want to live in such a nightmarish economy!

Faye Wong's new song 塵埃 is finally out! As much as I'm elated that this might very well be leading to a brand new album after 13 years, I'm also a little disappointed with this new offering. I was expecting something not so predictable especially after she has worked with her long-time musical partner 張亞東 (the song's composer/arranger) so many times and should now be creating something really different. I also find the tune draggy and dislike "被吸入 也被排放" in the lyrics penned by Faye. Well at least it's still not as commercialised as the rest of Asian pop. What are your thoughts on this song?

The stir-fried noodles with meat dish at my usual Thai takeaway place has increased in price and the reason they gave was that the butcher is charging them more and hence they don't have a choice. But why are the vegetarian options also increasing in price??? Irritated! #FirstWorldProblems 

Do you know what the difference is between a crowd-funder and a street beggar? The former works smarter and the latter harder. Too harsh?

The Olympics is FINALLY over and we can again focus on things that matter. These more important things are different to different people but I know they all deserve more of our attention compared to a handful of minority elite sportspeople competing for arbitrary honour that costs the nation much money that is better spent elsewhere.

EEK! Just saw on TV the opening prayer that starts the Parliament sitting and for a moment, I felt I was thrown back into the stone age. Why do they still have such things in a secular country??? To make matters worse, they also just admitted the first openly-gay MP into the chamber but he sits with the Liberal Party!!!

Chemical Engineer is still in the skills shortage list this year in the Australian skilled-migration system despite there being an obvious increase in jobless chemical engineers due to the slump in oil prices. Shouldn't there be some sort of a quota in order to keep the jobless rate under control?

People think that Michelle Obama will win the election if she had run. If a woman can't even win, what makes you think a black woman will, in a country where old white angry men dominate the voting scene?
Honestly America only has itself to blame as almost half of the country didn't vote. When you don't vote you're not entitled to a say so non-voters can't just come out now after the election to make noise.
Also what makes you think that Trump can actually do the stuff he promised during his campaign? Surely there are enough checks and balances in America's mature democratic system to prevent any Tom, Dick or Harry from annihilating the country?
Trump is a reality-TV star and what did and said was just to win votes and gain popularity. From now on he'll definitely be moving back into the centre-right zone where he has always been in if he knows what's good for him and his country.
So there you go, my two cents rant on this issue.

Australia and New Zealand have the peculiar custom of celebrating Father's Day in September just so the sale of shit your dads don't need can be boosted in the quiet shopping season sufficiently far away from Mother's Day in May. So if this soulless commercial event is applicable to you today, Happy Father's Day.

You know what a double whammy is? It's when companies stop growing and hiring and at the same time release all their experienced i.e. expensive staff. Not only do job openings come rarely nowadays, you get hundreds of people much more experienced than you competing for that same position making the chances to stay employed really slim in this depressed climate. That's a double whammy.

Looking at the Bersih movement in Malaysia, I can't help but feel that this extent of government corruption could very well happen in Singapore especially when there's essentially no political process to put the major party in check. This makes the nation vulnerable if some corrupt official were to become the leader. Fortunately this hasn't happened yet but it could and therefore we need some sort of reform even though many have tried and failed in the past.

I am now back in PNG and have just received an extremely unpleasant email from my company. Apparently a salary review in an attempt to cut costs has revealed that we are all paid too much by industrial standards and we will need to have our pays cut!!! The thing that kills me is that we've always thought that the company has been underpaying us based on what we know from other companies!!! 

I don't understand why gay men even bother to donate blood. They clearly don't want our blood! For those people who lie in the questionnaire and then get caught when their blood tests positive for HIV, you and your stupidity are the only things to be blamed. By the way that's not Red Cross policy but that of the Therapeutic Goods Administration - I didn't know that.

Maintaining an active LinkedIn "social" life is a full-time job from the checking of available jobs to adding recruiters into my network plus making a neutral-yet-positive post everyday to make my profile pop up in the feeds of my intended audience. Even typing all that makes me tired already and I've not even stepped into the office yet!

There are so many things wrong with the "Bring Your Kids to Work Day". First it is a very noisy distraction and I dislike unruly kids who are so by nature. More importantly this highly-irritating annual event is nothing but a cheap token two-hour ploy to show that the company is family-friendly while squeezing employees more and more with the cutting of staff in an attempt to continue feeding the fat wallets of the big bosses. By forcing your employees to work overtime for free day in day out, you are NOT being family-friendly!


Hopefully all this negative energy won't ruin your Christmas. Stay tuned for my next post as it'll be much more positive. In the meantime Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Musical journey (77)

Christmas is coming and the office always closes for two weeks during that time when everyone is forced to take annual leave or unpaid leave (if you've run out of paid leave). The official reason is for the employees to take a break and spend some quality time with family and loved ones. However all of us know that's a ploy simply to reduce our annual leave so we won't get to cash all of it out should the company retrench us. Fortunately this year I have enough billable work to not be in that boat which is perfect as I don't celebrate Christmas (Ision has to work anyway) and would like to save up my leave for occasions I do celebrate (e.g. for my upcoming Chinese New Year trip back to Singapore).

As you know I went through a phase of not having work and forced to take annual leave (yet another reason why I need to save it up). I hated that experience as it gives a constant sense of uncertainty as you see your leave days dwindle into oblivion. This is why I'll never complain when there's work even though there might be too much of it causing stress and weekends filled with work.

The flip side of being blessed with lots of work is that one can get tired and burnt out, and this is the perfect segue into this month's musical journey as it's a piece trying to bring out how mentally, emotionally and physically fatigued one can get when coping with a failed relationship.This song is one of my first few compositions back when I started writing in my high school days 20 years ago (GOD I'M OLD!!!). It's a story about how a person has fallen down in the journey of love. Tired, bruised and with no one to help him up, he has to get back on his feet himself and continue walking this road called life. I hope you can feel that weariness in the tune but if you don't I hope the slow, grey clip of one walking aimlessly puts you in that mood.


词 / 曲 : 锦泉

人到了终点   是否就该停下来
心碎到极点   是否就能卷土重来

又怎能在爱情的道路上   来去自如

人倒了下来   是否就能爬起来
泪慢慢累积   是否就能哭得出来


我不能   不能把锁给撬开


人到了终点   是否就该停下来
人停了下来   是否就能不需要爱


Should one stop when he's at the end point?
Can his heart be put back together after splitting into pieces?
With love as fragile as a crystal ball
With you as stubborn as granite
How can anyone expect a smooth journey?

Can one get back on his feet after falling down?
Will he be able to cry after accumulating so much tears?
The person who was not supposed to go has departed
The soul who was not supposed to die has been killed
Faced with a dead end
I can't escape no matter how I hard I try

You let love linger in your heart
Why can't you just let it out?
Waiting for you to turn back
Something so difficult for you to do
Even if you turned back
You would never look at me

You lock your heart up
And I can't pry it open
After seeing you kiss him
I think it's over
Because he now has you who used to belong to me

Why can't I pull myself together?
And have to pine for you day and night
All this ultimately just means that I've lost to him

Should one stop when he's at the end point?
Even when he has stopped
Will he not need love?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

12 reasons why I'm getting fat

Ever since Ision took on the morning shift he finally had time to cook us dinner on weeknights. However his passion for cooking and eating is unable to stop him from also preparing yummy dishes for our breakfast, lunch or even dessert in the weekends. Aside from having food to take to work (as he cooks extra during dinner so both of our lunches are sorted the next day), it gives me yet another reason to stay at home so that I can enjoy the fruits of his love and labour, not to mention that's a much cheaper and healthier option compared to dining out.

The biggest respective pro and con of having a husband that cooks well put simply is getting fed and getting fat. I know I know, the snacks and junk food I eat on the side is not helping and Ision will be the first to whinge that I'm getting less lean not because of his dishes but it's certainly a nice convenient excuse to relax the diet regimen (I can always lean-up before a photo shoot if I wanted to anyway).

In this age of social media, nothing happens for real unless it's posted online so I've been sharing these wonderful creations with my Facebook friends. It's hard to pick the best-of-the-best among the many food porn pictures I have of boo's culinary masterpieces but I've managed to successfully pick twelve to post here. There are simpler fare that he's prepared that are just a delicious but as food porn go, those did not make the cut.

As a food-lover, I'm really fortunate to have a husband who's into cooking as much as eating. I'm sure you'll agree with me after sampling with your eyes the many scrumptious feasts that take place every day here in our one-room heaven.

Chicken thigh marinated in Singaporean satay sauce with wilted spinach, carrot, potato, peas and onion plus cucumber and onion sides for dipping

Bruschetta with crispy garlic bread, grilled haloumi cheese, avocado, tomato, basil and onion

Baked eggs with vintage cheddar, Hungarian salami, tomato, parsley and onion

Smoked cod in mild curry sauce with mushroom, choy sum, onion, peas, carrot and corn

Baked chicken and vegetable meat loaf with double-brie and pea mashed potato

Quorn sausages with potato waffle-omelette and smokey beans

Baked pineapple tarts

Chicken-flavoured rice with steamed chicken, cucumber and steamed Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce

Grilled haloumi cheese, pan-fried bacon and onion with toast

Matcha mochi with sweet peanut filling topped with icing sugar

Satay turkey pizza topped with onion and mushroom

Chicken thigh claypot rice with shitake mushroom and Chinese sausage with steamed bak choy in soy sauce and nasu dengaku (braised eggpant)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Musical journey (76)

If you're sick of opinion pieces or jokes about president-elect Trump on social media, here’s something refreshingly different. Also, now that I'm well on my way in my 39th year on this planet, it’s time for another musical post.

A successful pop song needs to have a hook that captures your attention and enters your brain so that you can’t shake it off. For this month’s musical journey I’ll be covering such a song (Colbie Caillat’s “Try”).  In my opinion this is a really well-written piece with a catchy tune and a powerful message. We need more pop like this and less of those with lyrics along the lines of “I want to fuck you” or “I want you to fuck me” paraphrased in countless permutations.

I also like the MTV although they ultimately still chose really attractive people and went against the theme a little. However I totally understand the need to strike a balance between having a conscience and having a sell-able product because one can’t preach to the masses if they don’t give any attention to the sermon. This song achieves this balance perfectly and hence my saying that it’s successful.

One other message that the song brings out albeit not intentionally is that it reinforces once again that everyone uses Photoshop and the like to make themselves look better, even pop stars and movie stars so there’s absolutely nothing wrong when mortals like us use them.

Unfortunately I have to use a karaoke video for the clip as Youtube doesn't allow me to use the original MTV due to copyright reasons (darn!) so pardon the low-quality video. So here’s this month’s musical post sung in the original key no less. Savour away!

Monday, October 31, 2016

(Almost) 38 and counting

It's been a crazy few weeks at work with insane workloads during office hours both on- and off-site leading to full-blown working weekends. Fortunately I get paid for the vast amounts of overtime I've been doing and so I see this stress as a reasonable exchange for additional cash.

Now that my stint at the Altona Refinery is over (it was my last day there today), I'm off to work at another site next week in Laverton (a smelly chemical plant called Nufarm) which is thirty minutes further away and requires me to walk close to two kilometres one way daily. I've got to find someone to carpool with to make the otherwise three hour daily public transport commute bearable! From what I've heard so far, that site has very poor engineering systems in place and I'm supposed to "rescue" them from their ignorance. Well that's what people told me in an attempt to lure me to take up this gig.

From my perspective as long as I get paid I don't mind any shit jobs they give me. Luckily the city office still needs me two days per week till perhaps Christmas so I can still squeeze in two days of pre-work gym till then (I have to wake extremely early for days on site so there's no time for gym). All in all, things on the work front looks nice and busy and that's such a welcomed change.

My drowning in work lately explains why I haven't posted a substantial non-musical entry this month and so this is it, a short post but one that's used to announce to the world that I'm about to turn thirty-eight. Yes, I'm two years away from yet another "next phase". I had an adrenaline-packed almost-twelve hours of work today so my body is now crashing and I can't write much longer.

I look forward to a sleep-in tomorrow followed by a nice cooked lunch by my husband. I already know what he's preparing and it's one of my favourite Singaporean dishes (fried carrot cake). Then we'll have a quiet romantic dinner outside when I HOPE I'd be given my birthday present which is a particular item I very much need at this point that I've "instructed" him to provide me with. I think that message has sunk in so we shall see what happens tomorrow.

Happy 38th to me! And I've just used the last bit of my energy typing that.

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