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.



[起航]

词 / 曲 : 锦泉
 

在我心中
有着等待绽放的梦想
比那盛开的烟花更灿烂


站在舞台上
仿佛身在流星雨的夜晚
我许下了一个最闪亮的愿望


在我心中
燃着星火一般的理想
我知道它存着燎原的力量


就像我的爱
向着你永无休止地扩散
要把这舞台化成最炫最美的地方


让我们射放那最耀眼的光芒
世界从此会变得不一样
牵着好朋友的手
我们一起茁壮成长
总有一天
我们能在空中挥着美丽的翅膀

让我们用音符打倒所有的困难
就算它们一一摆在我们前方
让那载满梦想的木船能够安然无恙地靠岸
让它能向每个光辉的明天

(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.



[巴黎一夜]

词 / 曲 : 锦泉
 

一个人沦落到   遥远的国度
体验到从没那么冷的浪漫之都
铁塔下只有我一个露宿
只剩下泪水来温暖似冰的孤独


一个人拖着   千斤重的脚步
看到了另外一个浪漫之都
铁塔下只有我一个人哭
只有那冷冷的回音知道我心中的苦


看看这   寂寞的浪漫之都
可怜的月儿照不亮我内心阴暗之处


看看我   我的前方一片模糊
蒙娜丽莎也在哭




[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!