Sunday, February 23, 2020

Musical journey (114)

Hello again from Melbourne! I'm almost done sorting through all the pictures and videos taken during my long break and I'll start sharing them from next week. In case you don't know, I developed a cough whilst in Singapore when the COVID-19 situation was taking off and I saw a doctor immediately upon my return to Melbourne who recommended a 14-day self-isolation just in case since Singapore has the highest number of infected persons outside of China at that time.

Fortunately my manager was fine with this which is to be expected as he and the rest at the office definitely don't want to catch anything. I'm not complaining at all because my 6.5-week break got extended to 2 months with a full fortnight for me to adjust back to Australian life (and to binge on the  PS4 game "No Man's Sky"). Today is the last day of my self-isolation and I've fully recovered with no symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath) so I'm all good to return to work tomorrow. I'll keep you updated whether or not I have a OK-enough project waiting for me. Hope I ease back into the office environment well after being off-work for so long.

Whilst my 2-month party is ending, the Sydney Mardi Gras party is currently in full swing. Although I have no real desire to go to Sydney, I must say that Mardi Gras would be the only reason I'd consider visiting the city that I've forsaken for Melbourne (refer to my post here for my Sydney vs Melbourne comparison). After living in Melbourne for many years, I can positively say through my personal experience that overt (face-to-face) racism is a more serious problem in Sydney (I've written about this in detail here), which is a major reason why I left.

Racism remains a problem in Australia and I'm not immune to attacks in Melbourne as I still encounter it on the dating apps (I've included a screenshot example below), which gave me the inspiration to write the song I'm featuring in this month's musical post.

As members of one of the most oppressed communities in Australia, it's imperative that we all rise above racism as LGBTIQ. Our community is also one that knows how to have a good time so in this Mardi Gras season, I'm presenting my attempt at incorporating this important message within a dance anthem. I had great fun composing this piece and I hope you enjoy it while letting your hair down in between drinks and hot men!

[Rise Above]

When you say "no rice" what do you mean?
No slanty eyes, small dicks or just no yellow skin?
These words hit hard like bullets that cannot be seen
It's easier to kill hiding behind a screen

No matter what you utter
I'm proud of my colour
Gonna blow your cover
So run, you better

You can say whatever
But I will never
Succumb to pressure
All together now

I will rise above the pain
And I'll fly beyond the hate
You can no longer touch me

"Go back to where you come from" it's getting old
"FOB" is "fresh off the boat", yes I've been told
It's shit that's coming from those living with a blindfold
So take it off and rid your heart of that frigid cold

A coon, a chink, an Abo
A wog, a spic, a Lebo
A curry munching fellow
All that coming from a gwailo
Let's all leave the shallow
I will lead, you'll follow
So love can have the right place to grow

Put your hands up, if you're with me
If you want change, love is the key
So let's break these chains, and come with me
We will rise above, and set ourselves free

PS: My original draft of the lyrics had "you motherfucker" instead of "so run, you better" to make it more G-rated. On hindsight I should have stuck to the original words. Which line do you prefer?

Friday, January 31, 2020

Musical journey (113)

Hello from hot and humid Singapore! I've been busy catching up with the 3 F's that I miss so much—family, friends and food, and I'm having a great time. I'll post details of my trip through Facebook post snippets over the next few months so I'll keep this post short. I've also recorded new musical clips this trip (both of me busking and me singing topless in a KTV room) and will be sharing them once I've done some quick edits.

I'll be flying back to Melbourne in about a week's time and then it's a day of rest before heading back to work. I hope that there's something lined up for me because no one is responding to my email asking for updates. I really don't want to worry about that during my vacation so I better stop whingeing. I also hope the Melbourne air quality wouldn't be bad upon my return and that the coronavirus outbreak there is totally contained.

For this month's musical post, I'm covering a Hokkien song by Taiwanese singer 蕭煌奇 called "上水的花" which means "the most beautiful flower". I don't follow Hokkien pop music but I do listen to his songs and that was where I discovered this gem. I like this song for its melody not for its lyrics as they are pretty run-of-the-mill. It has a pretty dramatic MTV in which a man kills his terminally-ill lover to end her suffering though it isn't obvious in the clip whether or not it was consensual.

See you all back in Melbourne soon!

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.


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
选择了  自己想要的痛

空的双手  要空多久
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
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


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.


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

被蜡烫红的手, 我也不哭

枯坐在角落, 闭眼想像

我只要一个人, 就那么一个人

我好想把它吹灭, 再许一个愿


[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! 😊


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



他会用尽一生     不管有多苦


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





换他来爱你    每一步


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!