Sunday, April 13, 2014

Q1 2014 update

Since I've returned from my three-week vacation, the pace at work has been frantically hectic to say the least. It is as if we are all rushing to get jobless at the same time as the only two major projects (with increasingly-compressed schedules) that are keeping the office afloat will both end at the same time. There is absolutely no work forecast to keep us employed after these two projects and come some time next month, the need for the London opportunity (which is being pursued by five others in my department) becomes more pressing than ever. Speaking about London, the start of several projects over there got delayed and recruitment became uncertain (*yawn*) but rest assured that I will bug the London process manager no end till I get some sort of certainty.

However it is not all bad news on the work front—I have just received the best performance review ever with the attainment of an overall "Meets Expectations" standard for the first time since I transferred into the Melbourne office and even "Exceeding Expectations" under "Action Orientation" (even though "Meets Expectations" is supposed to be the the norm). This just shows that first, a male boss beats a female boss hands down in terms of not micro-managing when it comes to employees' performance (amongst other things). Also this boss is new and thus has no inaccurate and prejudiced pre-conceived notions of me from previous performance reviews. Lastly good reviews are really largely based on luck (mine being no different) as I did not get comments from people who hates me majorly (your future in the company depends about 70% on how other people judge you, this is how scary and political things are in my office). My weeks of apprehension typical of the period before performance reviews can finally be put to bed for at least another year, that is if I am still employed in Melbourne in 2015.

Oh, and we also moved into our new place (ie. a pretty impressive feat seeing how we did not hire any help) and FINALLY got the Internet up and running. You never know how much you can miss this warmth and normalcy now flowing in our blood until you lose it. As for what normalcy means to me these days, it is the enjoyment of the relaxing confines of my apartment walls and simple things like surfing the net and watching news on TV. I never expected someone who used to loathe staying at home in the weekends could actually become such a hermit. I blame it all on Ision actually as he is the one who influenced me to be like him. I am not saying this is bad at all. In fact, I really relish the times when we are both at home doing nothing, when I can just go over to him to give him a hug and kiss as and when I like. If only his working hours match mine, then we can really spend more time and do much more together. I recently told him that I am thankful he made me become someone who gets contented and happy with the most basic of things. I don't think this is healthy but I am finding myself increasingly dependent on having him around and as physically-close to me as possible. I guess this is part and parcel of married life (I still find it quite odd to call him "husband").

This love for not going outside also means that my desire to do more photo shoots has waned to a new low. The last photo shoot I did was almost exactly a year ago (the one in Brisbane) and I have not had a strong urge like before to strip in front of the camera (and I don't feel strange or uneasy about it!). Maybe this is for the best as I am not getting any younger and perkier. I hope this does not translate to me rationalising away the need to upkeep my gym routine (which hasn't happened thankfully)! The search for a busking partner is also proving to be too much of an effort and I am almost at the point of giving up on that venture as well. What species of sloth have I mutated into?!

Well that's the overview of this quarterly update from me. To have a taste of the finer details, here are my Facebook statuses from the time I came back from my vacation up till just a few moments ago. These status updates offer a clear indication of the phase of life ("The Next Next Phase"?) I am in right now. Married and contented.


“Kids don't try this at home - going into office for a full day of work after an overnight flight on budget economy. The ultimate zombifying experience.”

“FINALLY FINISHED UPDATING MY SPREADSHEET WITH ALL THE VACATION ENTRIES!!! Had to do it over a few sessions this weekend as it was all too much. Guess how much time in total I took to do it? It will shock you. Now for a little bit of outdoor time with Ision at the Midsumma Festival. Sorting out the pictures/videos I took is next when I return.”
 

“You can really miss something even though you have only gone without it for a short 3 weeks. Boo's cooking that is.”
 

“Forecast today: 43 degrees Celsius. Does hell ever get to that temperature?”
 

“Tokyo has a snow forecast tomorrow!!! Why didn't that happen when I was there???”
 

“Just got off a phone conversation with the manager of the London office. Looks like an interview is in the works in the next 2 weeks or so. Super excited and nervous!!!”
 

“Finally the rain is here to end the 4-day heat wave!!!!”
 

“Lower back pain again and this time it's bad! Is it due to wrong sitting/sleeping/gymming posture? I need some good remedial massage and I need it now!”
 

“Still sorting out vacation pics to blog. 117 and counting... How am I going to fit all of them in without tiring myself out? The back pain doesn't help in any way!”
 

“Finally finished sorting out my vacation pictures and videos and the order to post them in! Somehow I don't feel that the vacation has ended until I have blogged about it. It's frightening sometimes to a step back and see how social media has impacted our existence and perception of things.”
 

“Uniqlo opening in Swanston Street Melbourne. After experiencing Tokyo's megastores, this dwarf of a branch is so cute... and laughable.”
 

“It is Monday night again and yummy din din awaits when I get home from work. Thank you booboo!!!”
 

“Didn't know that $10 can buy me SO much char siew. Will save some of my supper for later.”
 

“Why did they make it so hard for someone to apply for a UK spouse visa? Better apply sooner or later before they change the laws again and make it even harder!”
 

 “It's home video night and just finished watching "Captain Phillips" and "Carrie", both excellent movies. Tom Hanks's acting was top-notch, especially the last scene. Haven't watched the original "Carrie" and didn't read the book either so didn't expect what happened in the last scene.”
 

“FINALLY! A proper full weekend with my boo. And you know what? For the first time, we are going to bake together. Item to conquer: pineapple tarts. [ Phoebee, it's your fault 8) ]”
 

“Now that the pineapple tarts are in the oven, we can only hope for the best. Will keep you posted of the final result.”

“Who would have thought such basic ingredients can be turned into something (pineapple tarts) so amazingly yummy? Fingers crossed!”

“Using the last bits of the leftover pineapple jam for brekkie. Too yummy.”

“What a crazy language! "Poorly" being both an adverb and adjective!”
 

“It sure feels good to be called a”world-class model" but seriously?!”
 


“It is freaking hot today and it will get worse tomorrow!”
 


“Just sent an email to "itsabouttheman.com" asking to model for them. Hope I am what they're looking for.”
 

“By the way, "itsabouttheman.com" so needs more Asian guys on that site! And here's Kimmy to the rescue! Just sent 100MB worth of pictures over. Let's see which ones they pick!”
 

“Just successfully negotiated my highest-ever fee for a modelling gig! Woot!”
 

“Sorry Baz Lurmann, I always thought you were gay. Apparently you are not.”
 

“F***ING HELL!! The online UK visa application website is not working!! WHY???~?!”
 

“Why does my sister want to make me jealous by sending me this picture of mum-cooked reunion dinner when I am all alone at home tonight???”
 

“Power is having money and not spending it because you are contented with what you have and don't need anything more.”
 

“Fire crackers setting off everywhere. Hope they don't start a fire in this intense heat!”
 

“9.30pm on a Sunday night. It's time for bed.”
 

“I like to visit the websites of photographers I have worked with because it always makes my day a little brighter seeing my pictures there. Ali (of Ali Choudhry photography), I am looking at you!”
 

“Yummy Monday night dinner, including dessert!!! Thank you boosboos!!!”
 

“Why are normal people supposed to be concerned with a convicted and guilty drug smuggler (Schapelle Corby)? When you do the crime, is it wrong to expect that you do the time as well?”
 

“We were so happy that day and damn, we looked so good, and so good together! The day I married Ision: 19th December 2013 -- our new anniversary date.”
 

“"Itsabouttheman.com" published my interview 3 days early!!! This first part features my work with Photography by Cobalt, Ali Choudhry Photography, Nemanja Glumac, Gabriel Ho, West Phillips and some others not on my friends list. What a nice bunch of pictures! Second part to follow soon.”
 

“I am officially a hash tag! (I know I am very primitive). #kimtien”
 

“Heading to a BBQ later in this hellish heat. "Expect lots of toplessness" is the only thing I can say now.”
 

“Mega cool! My friend has a 3D printer!”
 

“Why must be there be a total fire ban today? The BBQ pit has already been set up SO nicely!!!”
 

“Chinese New Year potluck on yet another hot summer day. My first gay group social event in Melbourne with my boo.”
 

“It feels good when your work is featured amongst pictures of other gorgeous men!”
 

“MY! PHONE! IS! FINALLY! HERE! But have to use my crappy iPhone 4 for one more day till I get my nano SIM and then BAM! 4G bliss again. Absence really makes the heart grow fonder!”
 

“Pan-fried barramundi with salad dressed in sesame sauce. Stir-fried eggplant with minced chicken and tomato in shrimp chilli paste. Egg noodle soup in marinated garlic and soy sauce stock topped with boiled carrots. Very elaborate for a simple Monday night dinner and all cooked by boo! Am I lucky or what?”
 

“From the "Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns" trailer, looks like this final installment of the trilogy is really different from the past 2 episodes. Gotta buy this tomorrow when it comes out!!!”
 

“Booboo's off-in-lieu today so my tummy benefits once more this week. Dumpling soup with dry mee pok plus chicken and eggplant stir-fried with mixed greens.”
 

“So exciting! Will veg out this whole coming weekend focusing on "Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns", starting tomorrow after work.”
 

“Work for the week done. Cardio for the weekend also done. Dinner cooked and consumed. Nothing stands between me and "Lightning Returns" now. HOR HOR HOR!!!”
 

“Why oh why must this inspection come in between me and Lightning?”
 

“Almost 8.30pm now and it is time for bed.”
 

“Want to see White Night tonight with boo but I am not too sure how this sits with his hatred for crowds... So how Ision???”
 

“妈妈,我爱你!”
 

“Happy Mardi Gras everyone. I will be at home playing my Xbox game. I'm glad I have done the parade (viewing and marching) a few times so that I am qualified to say "been there done that"”
 

“Simple but yummy Monday dinner made by boo. Organic ramen soup with smoked ham and chicken breast, with boiled greens in oyster sauce.”
 

“Finally!! I was wondering when "itsabouttheman.com" is going to post the second part of my pictures. I now regret not giving them some more!!”
 

“Start of the long weekend... what to do, what to do...”
 

“I have a white female colleague who likes to start her sentences with "I'm not a racist but...". What do you think I should say to her the next time she does that? By the way, I don't like her and it's not only because of her irritating voice.”
 

“It's been ages since my last interview but I have one tonight. It's the long-awaited video conference with the manager of the London office. Feeling more than a little nervous...”
 

“I love the ending of the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy!”
 

“Why aren't there more muscular Asians around?”
 

“Am I really over photo shoots? I have been in two minds about it for some time now.”
 

“I wonder what makes the innocent remake of the game "Fable" R18+. The intrigue makes me want to buy it even more.”
 

“Din din surprise on Monday night by booboo. Homemade Korean BBQ! Feeling so spoilt now. Thank you booboo!”
 

“Why have I turned into such a hermit? I used to avoid staying at home in the weekends like the plague!”
 

“Feeling lonely at home watching downloaded videos... and waiting restlessly for boo to come back from work in less than 3 hours' time so I can hug him again. That's my Friday and Saturday nights for almost every week for some time now.”
 

“Procrastination won't win today.... packing shall start in 30 minutes!”

“Thank goodness the steam room at my gym is up and running again after more than 2 months of down-time!”
 

“Wow. We own a trolley now, just like a professional removalist!”
 

“What a relaxing Sunday. Apple and custard pies in the oven and getting ready for afternoon tea with boo just inches away from me. I am really getting addicted to staying at home!”
 

“Why is there a strong smell of smoke in the air and yet there's no news report of forest fires?”
 

“蔡健雅's  達爾文 is my new favourite song. She is such a talented song-writer. If only I can write tunes like that...”
 

“The level of bureaucracy in Australian property management is abso-f***ing-lutely mind-boggling. Plus the separate entities don't communicate with one another (Body Corporate/Carpark Management/Security/Building Manager). And the high-and-mighty attitude exuding from these people who get high on red-tape doesn't help either. No wonder Australia finds itself not being able to compete with the rest of the world. It is no one else's fault but your own.”
 

“If a famous porn company wants to cast you, would you think that's a great compliment? I sure would (not that that has happened before)! Is this way of thinking unique to gay men only?”
 

“It is times like these that I seriously wish that I were living in my own property!”
 

“Civilisation has once again crept into my world! Internet has finally arrived!”
 

“To whoever you are who reported my photos, my list of friends has no place for prudes the likes of you so please F off and die. Looks like Facebook is on my side for once, no, twice!”  

“Why the hell are there still such long queues at H&M more than a week after its opening??!!”

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