Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Musical journey (112)

So the company I've been working for the past year has decided to end my contract which though was something I've prepared myself for (as it's really quite a common practice in my line of work), it still was an undesirable outcome. I shall not whinge about how wrong that decision was as a single post is not enough to quench the heat. Consequently I had to scramble to line up my next gig and of course my back-to-work-post-holiday start date of 10-Feb-2020 is too far away for my parent firm to make any concrete plans. To make matters worse, my manager is from another company that has been acquired recently and he's based in Brisbane so I couldn't be further away from his "radar".

Suffice to say I have no work lined up in 2020 and I was basically told to just rock up to the office and will be given a desk and whatever job that's available to me (i.e. I have zero choice). To say I'm not filled with confidence is an understatement but with the amount of socialising and networking I did during the work Christmas party a few days ago, I hope I've registered enough in everyone's mind for them to take notice of this straggler (i.e. returning secondee).

Of course today is also the last day of my contract with the company I've been seconded to for the past year and after this last working day, I'm flying off to Singapore for my close-to-seven-week vacation tonight. I've also managed to book short trips to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur next month so I'm extremely excited about this well-deserved break, which also means that my care factor for work and job insecurity issues is at a very low level. I've also more or less fixed a time with all the people I want to catch up with (not an easy task!) and I look forward to posting my holiday pics here in the coming months.

This month's musical sharing is a live rendition of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, a number I did during the Christmas party at work (not at my parent firm but the company I was seconded to). I basically shamelessly recommended myself to the musical director of the band and I'm so glad I did it. Although they put me down as the guest singer with only one song that they chose based on their abilities, I left the audience screaming and hungry for another. I know this is a very famous song but I was not familiar with it (it's the wrong era!) and had to learn it from scratch. Fortunately it was a short one (but still it was challenging due to its tempo). Many of my colleagues told me after that they really didn't know I could sing that well and they were very pleasantly surprised. That being said, as a perfectionist, I could have done it better (see if you can pick up the places I got it wrong).

I told the musical director (the one playing the keyboard) that regardless of where I end up working for when their next party comes up, I want in if the band comes together and because my number was so well-received, he said yes. So enjoy my take on this circa 1980 song. Apologies for the noisy environment and the poor audio quality but I hope you can see how much fun I was having on stage. I always tell people the high I get from performing is unlike any other type of high and it just makes me yearn for more. I'll definitely be creating opportunities to do more live singing (and recording) in this upcoming Singapore trip so watch this space.

This is my last post of 2019 and to all my blog readers, have a Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year!


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Musical journey (111)

It's the eve of the the start of the last 2019 month and I'm a month into the fifth decade of my life. I'm not sure if mid-life crises are supposed to kick in now but since my life hasn't really seen much highs in the last few years so a low wouldn't be that obvious to me. Hence I don't think my boring life is a good candidate for mid-life crises. Nevertheless, it's not without it's minor ups and downs.

On the work front, it seems the company I'm seconded into will only tell me if I have a position there in the new year in a fortnight i.e. a fortnight late as previously agreed. This leaves me only two weeks before my long trip back home to look for my next work placement should they not have a spot for me. This is quite unfair especially when many people are on holidays during that two-week-before-Christmas period and so getting in contact with them to line up my next position would be difficult. Companies nowadays no longer put its people on the forefront. Sure such matters might be low on their priority list but they fail to understand that this is the number one priority for the workers affected for it is their livelihood! Is it any wonder that in this era where employees are treated like commodities (or sometimes glorified slaves) that they are disloyal and will cheat the company at any available opportunity?

I just hope my parent company has the decency to have a reasonable plan for me and not just put me in a god-awful location which inevitably forces people to opt to be made redundant. That's when they'll use the age-old trick of "I gave you a position but you rejected it so you're not entitled to a redundancy package" so you either quit with nothing or be coerced into relocation. Although that's a realistic scenario as it has happened to people I know, let's just hope I don't get to that stage. I should be getting a whole lot more used to this seeing that as a contractor (i.e. vocational nomad), I've gone through this so many times!

On the health front, I'm finally going to see a doctor regarding the sore/pain at the back/left side of my neck that has plagued me for some months now. I think it's caused by poor sleep posture and recently it's been causing tingling and numbness in my left arm and twitching of my upper left chest muscle. The fact that these symptoms are getting more frequent is what worries me. Maybe something related to my neck is impinging on the nerves and causing all that. Whatever it is, hopefully the GP I'm seeing that has has expertise in neurology can help. This GP also specialises on skin and I'm going to ask him to check out a mole on my left inner knee that I've been concerned with for a long time now. To top off the consultation, I'm going to ask to get my blood taken to test it for cholesterol and diabetes as well as getting a referral for a colonoscopy.

I haven't seen a doctor for a long time and so I'm trying to squeeze in as many things for him to look at in one session. I've also booked an appointment with an osteopath but seeing that osteopathy is somewhat a pseudo-science, I still have the chance to cancel that (expensive) appointment depending on what the GP says. I also need to book a dental appointment for routine cleaning before I leave for my holiday. Wish me luck!

Because I have these work and health issues weighing me down, the fact that I'll be embarking on my 7-week break in less than a month's time has not registered in my mind yet to make me all excited. I've noted down discrete things for my itinerary but have yet to string them together to form anything logical or concrete and I know I have to do that soon. It'll all become more real when I start counting down to my flight.

While I go sort all that out, here's this month's musical sharing. I wrote in my last post of the unhealthy state of mind I was in twenty years ago when I liked to wallow in my sadness. During those years, I would purposely seek triggers to activate those depressing emotions e.g. watch sad movies or look at happy couples in love.

The song I'm posting this month was written on one of those nights when I walked around the city looking for triggers while lamenting how alone I was and how much I needed a relationship and love. Couples holding hands were something I was extremely envious of at that time and so the song centered around my empty hands and how they represented the excruciating loneliness I was going through. Though painful, I do somewhat cherish these very valid feelings as I know I'll never experience them again even if I were to become single and so songs like these serve to preserve these distant memories.



[手]

词  /  曲 : 锦泉

喧哗的街  人群中  拖著走
惺忪的眼  穿梭熙攘的霓虹
石灰森林  月光被锁在外头
这样的夜  早已习惯了寂寞

脑海的鱼  不知往  哪里游
心里影子躲在哪一个角落
它是否和自己一样失了踪
选择了  自己想要的痛

空的双手  要空多久
它渴望感受另一双手的温柔
这份爱  世人怎么看不懂
这一滴泪  今夜又為谁而流

空的双手  要空多久
它永远都在挣脱孤独与哀愁
这惶恐  只有自己能承受
我很疲惫  不想再走

空荡的街  冷风吹得好暖和
静静的夜  月光照亮了自我
这样也好  至少多了个朋友
第一次感到  如此地自由



[Hands]

Dragging myself through people along these noisy streets
Snaking through bustling neon lights with blurred vision
The concrete jungle locking out the moonlight
I have long been used to such lonely nights

My thoughts unsure of where to run to
Where have the shadows in my heart hidden themselves
Are they lost like myself
Choosing the pain we have always wanted

How long must my pair of empty hands remain so
They yearn to feel the gentleness of another
Why can't the world understand this love
Who do I drop this tear for tonight

How long must my pair of empty hands remain so
They are forever struggling to be freed from loneliness and melancholy
Only I can withstand this terror
But still I am getting tired and do not wish to walk any longer

Cold winds blow so warmly on these empty streets
Moonlight illuminating myself this quiet night
It is not all bad, at least now I have a new friend
And never have I felt this free


Friday, November 1, 2019

20 years of independence

If you consider someone becoming truly independent only at the age of 21, then 20 years would have passed since I attained independence. In other words, happy 41st birthday to myself!

If you've seen me two decades ago, you wouldn't have recognised me as I was both extremely maladjusted emotionally and utterly insecure with my own appearance. The shoulder length hair and pudgy undefined body didn't help a single bit either!

I was supposed to be at my most active and free at that age but was constantly down instead and cried very often. Here's a song (just the lyrics as there's still a separate musical post later this month) I wrote for my 21st birthday to let you have a taste of my state of mind back then.



[生日舞会]

独白: 今天是我的生日, 第二十一个生日
        是什么样的一个日子, 我只能假装不知

我用孤单布置了房间
让寂寞渗透乏味的空间
然后静静地等着那不会到来的惊喜
我无奈地燃起蜡烛
被蜡烫红的手, 我也不哭
只因为痛苦已让我麻木

这热闹的生日舞会
只有电台情歌的生日舞会
枯坐在角落, 闭眼想像
这生日本来会是怎样

这热闹的生日舞会
唯一的礼物竟然是伤悲
我只要一个人, 就那么一个人
分享我生命的每一刻

这热闹的生日舞会
就像那蜡烛仅有的光辉
我好想把它吹灭, 再许一个愿
可我等了太久

它已化成一滩蜡
凝固于手掌间


[Birthday Party]

Voiceover: Today is my birthday, my twenty first
                What sort of day will it be, I can only pretend not to know

Using loneliness as decoration for my room
Letting it permeate this boring space
Then waiting quietly for the surprise that will never come
I light a candle helplessly
My hand burnt by wax yet not flinching
Because the pain has numbed my senses

This bustling birthday party
One with only love songs on the radio
Sitting idly in a corner with eyes closed
Imagining how this birthday should be

This bustling birthday party
Sadness is the only present
I only want one person, that one person
To share every moment of my life

This bustling birthday party
Just like the only radiance from the candle's flame
I really want to blow it out and make a wish
But I have waited for too long

It has become a pool of wax
Solidified within my palms


I was really quite emo huh. The worst thing is I liked to wallow in sadness which was very unhealthy.

Things started looking better when I started looking better after hitting the gym, something which I've written about on this blog before. The new-found confidence (albeit superficially obtained from validation from others - hey whatever does the trick right?) transformed me into a camera-loving part-time model with 40 photo shoots under my belt starting from 2007 (here are the shots: 1 2 3 4).

Though I've grown more mature and much surer of myself over the years, my body has not grown too much bigger. I know aging accelerates after 40 so I don't expect myself to continue being a model much longer but I'm very happy with what I've done so far. See for yourself how I've changed since my modelling "career" started!



Hope I can continue to add to the montage year after year and remain as healthy as ever. Happy birthday to me!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Musical journey (110)

It's 21st October 2019 i.e. exactly 7 years have passed since my bestie Phobee had her wedding and Ision and I were lucky enough to be able to join in the celebration back then. It wasn't a traditional banquet but a retro-themed fun and casual night of mingling at a seaside restaurant. I was involved right from the morning's "gate-crashing" which I've written briefly about here.

I've reproduced the wedding invitation and created a collage as well. They really bring back fond memories of that day. All of the people in the pictures (bar one) have since been married (most with kids), which re-iterates to us how much time has passed. By the way, big congrats to Eric's new-born girl!

I wrote some lyrics for the wedding but it didn't have a tune back then so I couldn't sing it that night itself (I did share the words in this post). I've since completed the composition (with some lyrics-adjustment for better flow) and have been waiting for an opportunity to give her the finished song and share it with the world. I think their 7th wedding anniversary is the best time to do just that.

Though they recently lost the companionship of their beloved dog Sushi, Phoebee, Ivan and their boy Evan remained strong. I hope this song, written from the deepest and most sincere part of my heart can add to that strength and keep this picture-perfect family forever blessed.

We'll catch up for sure during my trip home this coming Christmas to Chinese New Year period. I SO look forward to that and meeting Evan for the first time as wellboy, does he grow up fast! But for now, a simple wish from me would have to do. Here's to many more 7 years bestie, I love you so much.

PS: Pardon the gay wedding footage used in the music clip. This is coming from me after all! 😊





[祝福]

词  /  曲 : 锦泉

有了爱    世界才会变得更完美
用心爱    明天不再渺茫如一片漆黑
唯有爱    能涌上来    让我们往前推
没有爱    岂能活下来

拥有了一切也无所谓

你面前的路    

纵然会崎岖但绝不再孤独
他会用尽一生     不管有多苦
换你每一分每一秒的幸福


让爱的小幼苗    

在你细心灌溉下长成大树
今天送出这一首我的祝福
来自我内心最真    最深处

因为爱    你不再掉下一滴眼泪
你的爱    那最纯的爱

终于找到能栖息的双臂

为了这一幕

担忧等了春去秋来好几度
今夜你脸上的笑容藏不住
让我得到从未尝过的满足


你所有的付出

毫无保留地给了你的全部
过了这一晚你今后的旅途
换他来爱你    每一步



[Blessing]

Only with love, the world can be perfect
Only through loving with all your heart can we rid tomorrow of the darkness of uncertainty
Love is the only thing that can give us the surge of energy to keep us pushing ahead
Without love, we would not survive and it does not matter even if you had everything

The road ahead of you though bumpy, you will no longer be lonely
He will use all of his life through whatever pain and hardship to fill every single second of your life with bliss
Let the young shoots of love grow into a tree under your care
My blessing for you today comes from the most sincere depths of my heart

Because of love, you no longer weep
And that love so pure has finally found the rightful arms to rest in

I have worried and waited over countless seasons for this scene
Tonight, that smile on your face that you cannot hide gives me contentment that I have never experienced before
The love you have given has always been unreserved
But after tonight for the rest of your journey, let him love you every step of the way


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Musical journey (109)

How time flies and here we are fast entering the last quarter of the year. Something big happened two days ago and it's a fast-developing situation but I can't really speak about it publicly yet. Although it's something not directly-connected with me, it's nonetheless impactful to someone who's very important to me. I'll say something about it once it's official. Other than that, nothing much else has happened in my life for the past month.

On the work front, there was a recent major development that created a great deal of uncertainty but as a contractor, I'm used to seeing these events (sell-offs, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, retrenchment, etc.) and years of living it tough have made me rather resilient to the consequences from business decisions necessitated by shifting economic climates. There's also an office relocation (no more lockers and hot-desking finally!!!) and a two-day offsite team-building event next month to spice things up further.

Despite the uncertainties, there's still plenty of work to be done and I remain steady on my path plodding along, chipping away at the backlog that's growing by the day due to a hiring freeze, never stopping the countdown to my year-end trip back home. As my colleagues continue to take holidays during this period, my ability to stay focussed at work diminishes slowly. There's only a finite amount of time one can go without a break from work no matter how strong one is and I'm glad I don't have to put up with that much longer. By the time I take that break, I'd have gone without one for more than three years!

Now let's move on to this month's musical offering, which is another cover of one of 薛之謙's hits (my first cover of his is here). This is a singer/song-writer from China. Like I've mentioned in my previous post, his compositions, though still Mandarin pop, do sound a little different from that of others and that's why I'll keep following his music though I'm not sure how popular he is outside of his country. This time, I'm covering "怪咖" which is a Chinese slang word that loosely translates to "weirdo" or "freak", and the MTV depicts that quite well.

Stay tuned for my musical post next month as it'll be a very special one!


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Nude abandonment (part 3)

It's time for more of my nudeness again and this post features the concluding part of my "Nude Abandonment" series (all posts are here: 1 2 3). If you want to see more of me uncensored with snaps from shoots not posted on my blog before, leave a comment and I'll let you know the details of my photo book packed with full-frontals.

I hope laziness doesn't get the better of me so you won't need to wait for another year to benefit from my need to exhibit!









Sunday, September 15, 2019

Nude abandonment (part 2)

If you're still hungry for more after the first part of my "Nude Abandonment" series (entire series is here: 1 2 3), here's the next installment. Again, my sincere apologies for the eyesores emblazoned on my skin, it's beyond my control!








Sunday, September 8, 2019

Nude abandonment (part 1)

I can't believe the last time I posted a shoot series was more than a year ago (here) at the start of winter 2018! I've been so lax in my duties to share my pride and joy with you a.k.a. my glorious nudeness. The issue of a lack of flesh on my blog is going to be alleviated this month so you guys can stop whingeing, if anyone's even looking at my blog...

This series was shot in Singapore at an abandoned army barracks (in Kranji if you must know). I've been told it's been torn down so you won't be able to find it now. The obvious advantage of shooting at abandoned places is the ability to go nude without a care. That's why photographers and models alike flock to these locations to explore their artistic and exhibitionistic sides.

Aptly titled "Nude Abandonment", this series offers tantalising shots of me in various stages of undress. Sadly you have to use your imagination to get past the ugly orange circles and the watermarks that the photographer insists on using. I hate them so much but there's no other way of censorship allowed by the photographer!

If you want to see the uncensored shots (albeit still with the watermarks), you can inquire about my photo book. I have re-edited a new version since that first release with just nudes and full-frontals. Just ask me for details by leaving a comment! If not, you can follow my blog to see more from this series (all posts are here: 1 2 3). And now feast!









Saturday, August 31, 2019

Musical journey (108)

It's the last day of winter and hopefully it's also the last day of my procrastination in this tax season to file and reluctantly hand over my hard-earned money to the government. It's so unfair that the everyday workers pay much more tax than the large corporations but I guess this is one of the age-old well-accepted by-products of capitalism. To make things worse, with the recent acquisition of a major rival, my company has reported never-before-seen profits but trickle-down economics will ensure I see none of that money. Sad but a fact of life. The only thing I hope that will happen out of this is at least some enhanced job security and that the axe of redundancy that's been swinging inches above me for so long can temporarily be removed.

Well at least I have the warmer weather and the chance to show more flesh in public to look forward to! I hope come next week when I start gaming on a new release, I'll not get too distracted from the continuation of my search for hang-out buddies (preferably at nude beaches)! By the way that search is really not going too well as friend-making needs to be organic. My previous attempts at trying to steer people perhaps only keen on hooking up with me towards more of going out on a social basis just seemed a tad artificial or even coerced. Maybe I should go crazy at next year's Midsumma Carnival and join all the social groups and hope that at least one will result in the successful revival of my once-glorious social life (when I was living in Sydney).

Speaking about Midsumma, there's talk that the company I'm seconded to right now might march in the parade with the recent creation of its Australian PRIDE Chapter. This is quite exciting as I’m now officially part of the Chapter Committee (just a mere location representative though). Also on the work front, I told one colleague who has been trying hard to train me as part of a handover of his role (before our boss gives the endorsement) that come October/November, I'll be inquiring about contract-extension and if there's no extension, all his training efforts would be wasted and he'd have to start again which is something he wouldn't have time to do. Although I know that discussion will not amount to anything, I still hope something happens in my favour somehow. That being said, it's not the end of the world if my secondment ends as there's currently plenty of work back at my home company.

When work stress gets to me, one of the hideouts I go to for a respite is the warm shelter of music-writing as it never fails to pick and perk me up. Sometimes I write new material in various genres and languages and at other times I inject new life to old stuff. With this variety, fatigue out of repetitiveness never creeps into this creative process. This month's musical journey features old fictional lyrics (posted here more than 9[!] years ago) now added with a new tune, one which has several extremely high notes. I know a lot of you will think that I didn't do those notes well (I did them in my real voice, not falsetto so I think it's a great effort!) but like I always say, these clips are really the equivalent of quick scribbles in a jotter and so are never meant to be perfect. Instead, they are simply done to freeze my ideas and thoughts at that moment in time into a neat and convenient little package to be listened to over and over again and sometimes improved upon.

Songs that don't originate from true stories are always less meaningful to me but writing them is a perfect way to sharpen my skills and the more I write the better I get. This month's musical sharing is a composition in this category so enjoy!



[I Don't Wanna Cry]

词  /  曲 : 锦泉

I don't wanna cry
感情已不在
请留在门外
是我太失败
让你靠近是我给自己的伤害
我说活该

I don't wanna cry, I know I've tried
黑夜和泪总得一起来
只因你早已渗透我血脉

I don't wanna cry
倦意和依赖
甩也甩不开
是我不应该
让你存在是我对自己的虐待
请你别再

I don't wanna cry, please say goodbye
给你机会还欠我的债
为何你还是死赖着不肯离开

你为何不肯离开
不肯离开

I don't wanna cry, just tell me why
时间和泪非得要比赛
被思念囚禁我泥足深陷火海

I don't wanna cry, I don't wanna lie
若能从心把你哭出来
我愿意含着泪继续继续忍耐



[I Don't Wanna Cry]

I don't wanna cry
The feelings are all gone
Please stay outside the door
I've failed myself
Letting you near is the harm I've caused myself
I say, serve me right

I don't wanna cry
I know I've tried
The dark night and tears always have to come together
Only because you've long seeped into my veins

I don't wanna cry
The fatigue and dependence that's stuck on me
I can't shrug it off
I shouldn't have
Letting you stay is the torture I've given myself
Please, not again

I don't wanna cry
Please say goodbye
Let this be the chance for you to repay your debts
Why do you still refuse to leave?

Why do you refuse to leave?

I don't wanna cry
Just tell me why
Time and tears are always in a race
Trapped by thoughts of you
I'm knee-deep in a sea of fire

I don't wanna cry
I don't wanna lie
If I could cry you out of my heart
I would continue to endure in tears


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Musical journey (107)

Winter is slowly moving along and I'm also plodding along at the same steady pace with no great ups and downs, just the way I like it. I've recently put up my hand to be the Communications Lead for the committee of the first Australian PRIDE Chapter where I work and hopefully I'll get confirmed soon as the response thus far has been lukewarm and they need as much help as they can get. It's such a large multinational company and I'm really surprised the Chapter has only been formed recently so there's much to do in that space. As a contractor, I'm always looking for ways to embed myself deeper into the places I've been seconded to for increased job security. Moreover, "PRIDE" or "People for the Respect, Inclusion, and Diversity of Employees" is an initiative I believe in so why not?

On the non-work front, I've started planning for my year-end break by contacting some friends and asking if they would like to go on short trips to nearby cities with me. The places I'm currently considering are Penang, Bangkok, Seoul and Taipei. Such things need a great deal of time to finalise and although I still have about five months till the start of my seven-week vacation, time will fly past for sure and before you know it, it'll be all too late so I need to try harder. On the home front, Ision will be back at work in less than a week's time when his long break comes to an end. I must say having him around in the house all the time feels good but of course he'll say he needs his peace and quiet and hates that I'm around all the time. But I know my presence gives him comfort too, as much as he would like to deny that.

Lately I've had people contact me on dating sites (where I put down my blog's address) saying that they really like my blog. These are strangers who tell me they've been following my blog for years which means they know lots about me while I know next to nothing about them. I guess I shouldn't feel weird because this is what blogging is all about right? But having someone contact you like that still feels a little creepy and the fact that it's nice at the same time just makes me a little conflicted inside that's all. Whenever I receive such messages, I always ask them to also listen to my music instead of just looking at the pictures as my compositions, covers and live singing videos are perhaps the more important part of my blog.

Talking about my music, this post contains my second last topless KTV clip of this series (previous installments are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9). I hope you're not sick of seeing me sing topless in skimpy shorts yet as I intend to make and post even more. This is not only because I love performing and singing, I believe it's important to show people your true self as social media posts (pictures especially) become increasingly staged and fake. Videos are much more honest and down-to-earth and I think that's what the online world needs more of now.

This month's clip features Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited" which is part of the soundtrack to the movie "City of Angels". By now you can probably tell that I really like singing in the higher register and that's not only because I get praised for my falsetto, it also takes less effort. I like the parts of "Uninvited" where there's minimal accompaniment as that allows the maximum showcasing of my voice, which is something I'm super proud of. I can't wait to film my next series which will show off something else I'm really proud of as well—a much leaner and tighter bod than what you see below!