Sunday, June 17, 2018

Musical journey (95)

Winter has truly arrived and it's now double sweaters, thick woolly socks and a doona/fleece blanket combo. Unless it's totally unbearable in the summer preventing us from being able to sleep well, we don't turn on air-conditioning in an attempt to lower our power bills. You see, we're on an embedded network and can't change our supplier who is obviously ripping us off with the much-higher-than-market prices.

We are equally power-conscious in winter. As far as I can remember we've never once turned on the heater ever since we moved to Melbourne because we both love the cold weather. You can always protect yourself from the cold by wearing more but you can't do the same from the heat when you're already naked. Plus there's a legitimate reason for cuddling which is something I absolutely love doing with my hubby.

The reason why I brought up winter is because that's the setting of my composition in this month's musical journey. In this song, two lovers go separate ways at the start of winter and one of them starts reminiscing about the time they spent together in the house, all the while blaming himself for being foolish for still holding on to the memories when the other person has already moved on. The video I used is a scene of heavy snowing to keep to the winter theme.

On the song-writing front, I really need to pen more pieces as the backlog of song ideas is growing by the day. I also have the second draft of a collaborative composition to complete with a friend (the one who wrote the words to this and this). However this new game "God of War" that I've started playing is seriously impeding that creative effort. The game trailer is here so please tell me how can one resist such beauty? So apologies to those who like my music (if there's any...*sad emoji*) for this laziness.

Here's "那么傻" or "Too Foolish" for your listening pleasure.



[那么傻]

词  /  曲 : 锦泉
 

昨夜下了冬天第一朵雪花
今早已叠成厚厚的牵挂
刚堆好的雪人你看到了吗
它有你的眼睛你的嘴巴

爱情的种子发了芽    开了花
结果时你不在我们的家
有谁能够代我告诉他我爱他
坐立不安    废寝忘餐    想着他

桌上还放着你未喝完的茶
床边的梳子还留着你的发
零下的温度冻结了时间的流沙
一切都变了    我还留在原地那么傻

爱我爱的人的代价有多大
要我放弃所有    我都不怕
不知道他能听到我和他说话
一片海洋有多大    我不管它

每一个冷冷的夜里只有我
的眼泪温暖着我的脸颊
每一个寂寞的心跳就像个
定时炸弹随时就会爆发
我在思念你的脑海里就快
要溺毙无奈地不停挣扎
你在地平线前方的国度里
是否会昼夜地想我吗




[So Foolish]

The first snow has fallen last night
By the morning there is already a thick layer of worry
Did you see the snowman I have just made?
He has your eyes and your mouth

The seeds of love have sprouted and flowered
Now that they have borne fruit you are not here in our home
Who can tell him I love him in my place?
Because I am here pining for him, unsettled, not eating well and sleepless

Your unfinished cup of tea is still on the table
The comb by the bed still has your hair in it
The sub-zero temperature has frozen the sands of time
Everything has changed but I am still in the same spot, so foolish

The price to pay to love is huge
I am unafraid even if it means giving everything else up
Wondering if he can hear me speak to him
As I ignore this expansive ocean between us

Every frigid night I have only my tears to warm my cheeks
Every lonely heartbeat a ticking time bomb ready to explode anytime
I am sinking and flailing helplessly in this sea of thoughts of you
Beyond the horizon, are you thinking of me too?


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Musical journey (94)

As you know I'm a gaymer but unfortunately I'm in a bit of a lull right now after completing "Ni No Ku Ni II: Revenant Kingdom". I bought the season pass for that game so am now waiting for the first (of two) DLC to be released. In the meantime, I'm playing an old game I borrowed from another gaymer friend (he's a work colleague too - what are the chances!) - "Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition".

The game that I'm REALLY looking forward to though after having played the first episode is "The Last of Us: Part II". To give you a feel of how popular this game is, it's been put on pre-order a few months ago even though the actual release date is not yet known (likely next year)! It's popular because the plot is so gripping and to be honest better written than most movies out there right now.

This month I'm covering a song featured in the first teaser trailer for this much-anticipated game called "Through the Valley". The original version really isn't too flash but the way it was portrayed in the trailer (which I've watched countless times) captivated me and for many weeks, the song was on repeat in my playlist. In my cover I've added some extra verses from the original song to make it longer while still retaining the arrangement. I love this song very much and hope you will too.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Musical journey (93)

Work has died down in terms of craziness level and to make things even better, I've been enjoying myself for the past many weekends gaming at home with Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. That doesn't mean though that life is stress-free as Ision and I have been by vying for console time for this same game with us being roughly at the same progression level. Luckily he had been on night shift for a week which made it easier (but I got to see him less which is always no good). I've documented my life as a gaymer here if you want to know how engrossed I can get once I start on a game. I'm now waiting patiently for the release of the next must-buy game The Last of Us: Part II.

However one still needs a breather sometimes so here's this month's musical post which is another collaboration with a Singaporean friend (the previous one is here). It seems like this friend of mine only writes love songs (he can prove me wrong - hehe). He's on the karaoke app a lot and I should really get my phone microphone sorted so that I can not only write pieces with him, I can also sing duets with him on the app.

And now here's "You Sang To Me" for your listening pleasure.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Musical journey (92)

You know the nut-bag client I wrote about in my last post? Apparently he did it again with another poor engineer in my department and this time his choice words included "... they should be drowned at birth but you guys should just wear a condom." Unbelievable right? I told my boss I could get my company into a lot of trouble (if nothing's done about it) by going straight to the Fair Work Commission to lodge a formal complaint about workplace bullying. We shall wait and see if I really need to stir shit up to this extent.

Talking about flicking shit around, you know the Project Manager who successfully denied me well-deserved career progression even though I don't report to him? I've decided to stop doing him any favours and make his life as difficult as possible from now by way of a generous use of red tape to slow his progress down. Hopefully his ineptness will then be magnified to a level enough for his manager to take disciplinary action. Fingers crossed!

It was a crazy week working to unreasonable schedules yet again but at least I have the Easter long weekend to allow me to veg completely in an attempt to re-adjust back to some normalcy. This means that I have some time to squeeze in this month's musical post before the first quarter of 2018 ends. Time does fly too when you're not enjoying yourself (at work)!

Here's the next installment of my topless series (previous clips can be found here: 1 2 3 4). This time I cover one of my favourite dance-y songs from a ultra famous Asian singer A*mei (张惠妹). This piece was penned for a Pepsi commercial and hence the clever title "渴了" which means "thirsty" and has the same pronunciation as "cola" in Mandarin. It always puts me in a sexy mood when I sing this song but alas my "dance moves" in the clip failed to match my singing prowess. You know, if I can dance better, go-go dancing will SO be my part-time job as it matches my exhibitionistic streak to a tee. Perhaps I should start taking dance lessons...

Happy Easter everyone!


Saturday, March 17, 2018

FML as an engineer

My blog readers would know that I've sometimes whinged about work here but has never devoted an entire post on it but this time my need to vent means that a dedicated one must be entered before I literally explode. Here goes.

There is this senior nut-bag of a client who is notoriously difficult to work with but because of his experience will never be allowed to leave the company. Here's a little of his back story - he is a single 65 year-old who has never been married and genuinely complains on Fridays that the weekend is upon him and he can't continue working. Alas my department in the course of our work has to deal with him the most. So there I was this week running him through changes in process design for a project so that he could evaluate whether another round of safety review was required. There was a particular design change that was not an official one and I merely wanted to let him know that we might have to consider this in the next project phase as we were nearing the end of the current phase. It was a pleasant meeting up till that point when to my shock and horror and without any warning, he suddenly unleashed a barrage of insults.

He shook his head and said "it's shocking that you are even proposing this design". He proceeded to ask me if I knew anything about the equipment associated with the change and I replied "yes" to which he responded "clearly you know nothing, this is shocking". Then he went on to say that he's an expert in this area due to his past working history and explained to me what he thought was right. I loathe conflicts and so I tried my best to be calm and avoided escalation by not responding i.e. just listening and nodding as he carried on. People might argue that age and EQ are in direction proportion but clearly what happened proved otherwise. Basically what he wanted to say was the issue that prompted me to suggest the change would resolve itself without having to do anything (which was later verified to be correct when I discussed with my technical manager).
After his explanation, he went on to use perhaps the strongest words that I've ever heard in a work setting in all my years of professional life. Though not fully verbatim here's what he said:

  • "What you have proposed makes me want to vomit".
  • "If someone proposes this to me for real and not just a suggestion, I will make sure he doesn't get out alive."
  • "There will be blood on the floor".
  • "I have lost all confidence in your technical ability".
  • "You have caused a loss of reputation for your company".

I think I'll remember those words and that day forever because the venomous vitriol spewing out of his decrepit mouth was beyond the pale and unprofessional to the extreme. Invective like this doesn't come out of a sane person in a work environment unless he's about to quit or ready to be fired but that's not the case. So I can only conclude that he is not sane. In the interest of time due to the tight project schedule, I had to put on a brave face and pretended I heard nothing and continue to review the rest of the changes with him. Indeed, he went back to his normal self and the rest of the meeting resumed as if nothing has happened, which is further proof that if he's not a lunatic, he has some serious anger-management issues and character flaws. I still had to thank him for his time at the end which made me feel so pathetic.

It didn't end there because to my utmost misfortune, my project manager organised an ad-hoc meeting an hour later with him invited which meant I had to face him again! This second meeting was with all the other discipline engineers for the same project with that old man being the only client representative. I briefed the engineers (as well as my boss's boss who was also in this group meeting) what happened earlier and the more I talked about it, the more emotional I got and I almost cried (that was before the client turned up). My boss's boss actually said if someone used the word "vomit" on him he would laugh as he thought it was really funny. That was a disappointing comment coming from a person of his authority after witnessing how emotional I was. This gives you a flavour of the kind of environment I work in.

I'm not sure whether that crazy person had pent-up frustration from the previous meeting because of me or someone rubbed him the wrong way (which is not a difficult thing to do) in that second meeting but he stormed out as he thought the meeting was a waste of his time (I'll not go into details here). We all know that a group meeting is where one has to behave more professionally compared to one-on-one meetings but clearly he didn't get that memo and more unprofessional behaviour was exhibited, this time in front of everyone in the project. At least now they all know what I'm talking about (not that they didn't know about his temperament before). On and off I've heard similar complaints from other people but I think not many actually made formal complaints. But I did and I subsequently learnt that I was only the second person who has done that and that was enough as it was a repeated offence i.e. the higher-ups now will have to do something about it. The managers convinced me that it'll all be anonymous but I've been burnt before as a whistle-blower when anonymity went out the window due to HR-mismanagement and I was exposed as a result. I'm now hoping with all my strength that this doesn't happen to me again otherwise my future days there will be unbearable.

Just so you know the proposed change I mentioned earlier was not plucked out of thin air, it was a result of a discussion with my ex-technical manager. Because of the crazy project schedule, no one had time to give it further thought to see if it made total sense. If anyone were to be blamed from our side, it'd have to be my boss's boss who repeatedly failed to protect his engineers from useless project managers who regularly screwed up schedules resulting in unreasonable deadlines. These inept project managers rely on good engineers like myself to do their job and clean up their mess which is not supposed to happen at all! In fact, this all came about because of the ex ex-technical manager (now fired for how unsuitable she was for that position) who recommended a series of poor designs that ultimately meant that that old man had to deal with the installed duds after she left. That was when the loss of confidence in the engineers' technical abilities began and it never improved in his eyes ever since which explains (but certainly not absolves) his flare up. The stress coming from work itself is already tough enough, engineers on the ground level really shouldn't be exposed to stress stemming from not-up-to-scratch managers. But when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys and this situation will not improve unless that is changed.

As if things were not bad enough, I was told that the lead role for a big project that was promised to me by my ex-boss was going to someone else because I'm too good technically and need to be reserved for the smaller more complicated projects where good engineers are needed to clean up after poor project managers (i.e. the ones that are assigned to these unimportant minor projects). This is fucking rich right? It literally means that one gets better career progression and rewarded for being less skilled in his or her work??! What topsy-turvy logic! As usual my new boss didn't fight hard enough for me (perhaps because he was not the one who promised me the role) and I lost out in the end. Talk about a further loss of work morale, a day after being verbally abused by the client!

From all this venting, you can see that I not only work in an environment where crazy clients don't get reined in for bad behaviour, incompetent project managers shitting over everyone abound. To top it all up, bosses are constantly changing because they don't get paid and valued by the company well enough and as a result, their subordinates like us don't get the protection and career development opportunities that we deserve after working like dogs to mop up the mess we didn't create in the first place. If not because of how stable the work is where I'm at right now, I wouldn't continue slaving there and I'm pretty sure a lot of the other engineers are in the same boat as me. I've never wanted a stiff drink more than I did at the end of this rough work week but I didn't get a chance to drown myself with alcohol, perhaps for the better.

So until I retire (I plan to ease off e.g. become part time in ten years' time when I turn 50), I'd have to put up or shut up. My husband thinks that someone who earns a six-figure salary is expected to grin and bare it and repeats this every time I complain to him about work but frankly I think I deserve better. However I detest change and crave routine, so I'd have to stay in this stable rut for the foreseeable future until things get impossible to bear. Hopefully that day will never come.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Musical journey (91)

Looks like my musical journeys have taken an all-in-the-family flavour lately. My last musical post was a cover collaboration with my sister and this month's is a compositional one with her daughter. Of all the poems on my niece's blog, I have chosen one that best fits the format of a song and started adding the tune to it. Although very different from her musical style, I was glad she didn't think it sucked. Maybe one day I can jam together for real with her and her band sobs.

On the personal side of things I finally rekindled my love for nude photo shoots in nature and did one at Yarra Bend Park here in metropolitan Melbourne last weekend with another very hot guy. I've seen the first few final shots and loved them to bits and can't wait to see the rest. I'll post the series once all pictures are received and have been edited up to my standard. I hope you're waiting for it with bated breath (hehe). That is my 38th shoot by the way and it looks like I might really be able to achieve my pre-retirement-as-a-model goal of 40 shoots in 40 years. Wish me luck!


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Musical journey (90)

You must have realised from the past months that I'm getting really lazy with posting on this blog which I started as a means to document the next phase of my life when I relocated from Singapore to Australia. Yes you're right, I'm indeed getting lazy. That's because my life is getting quite boring and I'm basically revolving between work and staying at home with the occasional socialising. I know it's my fault but I just feel so dead after a stressful work week and all I want to do is to vegetate on my off days. One other thing that impedes the development of my social circle is the fact that I don't drive but that's something I've made peace with years ago.

All that being said, things are getting slightly better as I've recently got acquainted with a new group of friends who are fellow exhibitionists and nudists and we've gone on several fun outings together. For instance, I've been with them to the nude Sunnyside beach and attended my first-ever nude masquerade ball as part of Midsumma 2018 celebrations. I've included a snap from that event below - can you guess which one is me? Let's hope my life outside work will improve this new year because my dead-end job with no career-development prospect is seriously not worth it.



Well that's enough whingeing for now. Here's my musical sharing for this month and is something that I'm trying for the first time since I have so much free time on my hands at home - my first musical collaboration with my sister. When I saw that she has set up her home recording "studio", I knew we had to do this especially now that I also have my proper recording microphone. I recorded my part first and sent it over for her to do hers. We then both attempted to mix the tracks together and the best-sounding one was selected in the end. A safe oldie was selected for this first attempt and I'm sure there will be many other collaborations with newer songs should this be a success. So here's our rendition of  你最珍貴 by 張學友 (Jacky Cheung) and 高慧君 (Francesca Gao). What do you think?


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Musical journey (89)

We're almost at the end of 2017 and to me the biggest thing that has happened this year is the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia which is something I've written at length here. This is significant because my marriage under British law which started as a civil union has been automatically recognised as of 8th December 2017. Just like that, I'm now exactly the same as any other married straight couple in Australia and enjoy the same rights. Also, my wedding finally has something concrete attached to it albeit done retrospectively.

I always find it a little strange that an entire community needs to fight so bloody hard just to be normal and boring like everyone else (I've penned a song themed around this fight for marriage equality here) but this is exactly what the LGBTI community has been doing for years and finally success! To celebrate, I participated in the Marriage Equality Victory March from the State Library to Federation Square in Melbourne and metaphorically spat in the face of every single homophobe along the route who has denied us what we rightfully deserve.

Although the official wave of same-sex marriages will only come in about a week, the excitement has subsided for me and life has returned to normal. The sky has not fallen and to many's disappointment no one has married their dogs or furniture either which means that everyone can now move on to focus on something else. See? It's not so hard after all right?

And speaking about moving on to something else, this month's musical journey is all about me (well this is my blog so everything must be about me!). I wrote this piece a while ago but the words describing my view of life and how I live it remain as applicable as ever. The last time I posted a rock song was eons ago so I reckon I need to do another one before the year ends. And there's no better visuals to accompany the raw energy of this genre than movie explosions and so that's what I chose for the clip.

This song shall be the loudest thing associated with my New Year's Eve because unless good friends drag me out of my apartment I'd rather stay home to shield myself from the drunken chaos that comes hand in glove with the last night of every year. That being said before it ends, I still want to wish all my blog readers a happy 2018. May at least one wish come true for you in the new year (we shouldn't be greedy!).



[这是我]

词 / 曲 : 锦泉
 

这是我   没有错 
直往直来   见风从不转舵
不退缩   不示弱 

话不多  你就别再啰嗦

像飞蛾   要扑火 

宁愿闯祸   也不想要错过
爱做作   那不是我 

敞开心胸   视野才能辽阔

不争世界第一 

要做世界唯一
只要打赢自己

我就能宣告我是无敌

嘲笑冷言冷语

钻不进我耳里
绝对不中你计

 越沉默你就会越生气

飚高音   不换气   拼了老命
尽全力   不放弃   梦想不是儿戏


我对得起(我)自己

得失不放眼里
跌倒若不爬起

你活着又有什么意义

我想脱   就去脱   没人能管我
赤裸却  不寂寞   人人都爱我
我敢说   就敢做   从来不闪躲
你看不过   不识货   

哦拜托   远离我

这是我   没有错 

对自己诚实才能活出真我



[This Is Me]

This is me, there's no doubt about it
Direct and unyielding
I don't go with the flow
Never backing down
Never showing weakness
I don't talk much so stop your yammering

Like a moth that has to fly into the flame
I rather cause trouble than miss an opportunity
I don't pretend because a fake is not who I am
Being open is the only way to experience the most of life

I don't fight to be the top in the world
I fight to be the only one in the world
Only when I outfight myself can I declare that I'm invincible

Your derision and sarcasm don't reach my ears
I'm not falling into your trap
'Cos I know the more silent I am the madder you become

I'll conquer those incredibly high notes in one breath if it kills me
I'll do my best and never give up because dreams are not playthings

I'm true to myself and so success or failure doesn't matter to me
What's the point of living if you don't get back up when you fall?

If I want to be nude I'll strip
No one can stop me
I'm naked and exposed but never lonely
'Cos everyone loves it

I dare to speak up and I'm true to my word
I never shirk when I'm called to action
If you can't stand me that's because you don't know any better
So please do me a favour and get out of my way

This is me, there's no doubt about it
The only way to live is to be true to yourself

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Musical journey (88)

I've written about being a gaymer here but in that post I didn't mention that it was from games that I discovered the nicest songs. In this month's musical journey I'm covering one from Final Fantasy XV, a game that I'm still playing since that post and will be playing at least till the end of the year when the last DLC is released.

Before I left the office yesterday my boss asked me to go enjoy the outdoors this weekend and not to game to which I replied "no promises". Well it has either been very hot or stormy lately and when he talks about it again I will use the weather as my excuse. I know I know, no excuses are needed for gaming of course, though I'm actually playing the "Frozen Wilds" DLC from the game "Horizon: Zero Dawn" this weekend.

The song I'm covering is called "King" by Lauren Aquilina and was featured in one of the game's teaser trailer. You might not think too highly of the song but when you've invested so much of your time in the game you get very connected to the plot and the characters which adds a lot more meaning to the soundtrack. I hope you can hear that meaning from my voice.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Same-sex marriage - it's a "YES"!!!

FUCK YES!!!

Pardon the language but we won!!!

This is just a short post providing the results (available here) as I'm at work now but we all need to take a moment to bask in this victory. It's going to be an ultra exciting time to be gay in Australia!